mēle

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See also: mele, Mele, mêle, mêlé, melē, and mēlē

Latvian[edit]

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 Mēle on Latvian Wikipedia

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Mēle

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Baltic *mel-, from Proto-Indo-European *mel- (to hit, to push, to crush, to grind) (whence also Latvian malt (to grind), q.v.; see also meli (lies)). The original meaning was apparently “(organ) used for pushing, grinding (food, in the mouth).” Cognates include Lithuanian melekė̃lis (uvula), Russian dialectal меля (mélja, chatterbox, chatty person).[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

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Noun[edit]

mēle f (5th declension)

  1. (anatomy) tongue (muscular mouth organ used for moving food around in the mouth, for tasting, and as one of the organs of speaking)
    mēles ķermenis, muskuļitongue body, muscles
    mēles galotne — the end(ing) of the tongue
    mēles galiņš — the tip of the tongue
    mēles sakne — the root of the tongue
    mēles muguriņa — the back of the tongue
    rādīt mēli — to show, stick out one's tongue
    kaķis lok pienu ar mēli — the cat laps milk with his tongue
    laizīt ar mēli — to lick with (one's) tongue
    mēli kļuvusi stīva, nevar parunā — (his) tongue stiffened, he can't speak
    abiem mutes bija sausas, un viņi pārtrauca sarunas, lai mazliet sakrātu siekalas uz mēles — both of them had dry mouths, and they stopped the conversation in order to save some saliva on (their) tongues
    latviešu valodā izšķir augsta, vidēja un zema mēles pacēluma priekšējās rindas patskaņus — the Latvian language distinguishes front vowels with how, medium and low tongue height
  2. (figuratively) tongue (way, style, attitude of speaking)
    asa mēle — sharp tongue
    mēle kā nātre — a tongue like nettles (= sharp tongue)
    ļauna mēle — evil tongue
    veikla mēle — agile tongue
    salda mēle — sweet tongue
    mīlīga mēle — friendly, kind tongue
  3. (of animals) tongue (the animal's body part, seen as food)
    mēles desatongue sausage
    sautēta mēle — stewed tongue
  4. (dated) tongue, language
    latviešu mēle — Latvian tongue
    vācu, franču mēle — German, French tongue
    sveša mēle — foreign tongue
  5. (figuratively) potential informant, source (prisoner who can talk, who has valuable information about the enemy)
    saņemt mēli — to get a potential informant (lit. tongue)0
  6. (figuratively) tongue (an object or phenomenon with a flat, elongated shape)
    liesmu, uguns mēles — a tongue flame, fire
    zemes mēle — a stripe, streak (lit. tongue) of land
    zvana vara mēle klusēja — the bell's copper clapper was silent

Declension[edit]

References[edit]

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