lācis

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See also: lacis

Latvian[edit]

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 Lācis on Latvian Wikipedia

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Lācis

Etymology[edit]

From earlier *lākis via palatalization, from Proto-Baltic *talk-, *tlāk- (with reduction of the “difficult” culster tl to l), from Proto-Indo-European *tel-k-, *tl-ek- (to push, to hit, to kick, to trample). The original meaning of this word was therefore “trampler,” “stomper,” “pounder,” showing that it was a descriptive term that replaced (probably for taboo reasons) an earlier word for “bear” (cf. Proto-Indo-European *h₂ŕ̥tḱos, whence Latin ursus, Ancient Greek ἄρκτος (árktos), Sanskrit ऋक्ष (ṛ́kṣa)), which left no traces in Baltic. (An earlier theory, which related lācis to the verb lakt “to lick,” i.e., the “(honey) licker,” is not reconcilable with the Old Prussian cognate.) Cognates include Lithuanian lokỹs, Old Prussian clokis (klokis) (< *tlokis; cf. placenames like Tlokumpelk “bear swamp”), Sudovian łukas.[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

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Noun[edit]

lācis m (2nd declension)

  1. bear (mammal, especially Ursus arctos)
    lāča midzenisbear's lair
    baltais lācis — white bear
    ledus lācis, leduslācis — polar (lit. ice) bear
    medīt lāčus — to hunt bears
    stiprs, liels kā lācis — strong, big as a bear
    lāča miegs — bear's sleep (= long and tight)
    guļ kā lācis — s/he sleeps like a bear
    brūnā lāča svars var būt vairākus simtus kilogramu (parasti ap 250 kg) — the weight of a brown bear can be several hundred kilograms (usually around 250 kg)
  2. (figuratively) bear (a clumsy, sluggish, heavy person; also, a very strong, heavily built person)
    pāris izbeidz deju, tikko sācis: dārgais, dejas laukumā jūs tomēr tikai lācis — a couple stopped dancing after having just begun: darling, on the dance floor you are only (= simply) a bear
    Dāviene no sākuma pretojās visiem spēkiem, bet cik ilgi cilvēks pret tādu lāci noturēsies — Dāviene at first resisted with all her might, but how long can one hold against such a bear?

Declension[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ “lācis” in Konstantīns Karulis (1992, 2001), Latviešu Etimoloģijas Vārdnīca, in 2 vols, Rīga: AVOTS, ISBN: 9984-700-12-7