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Probably from strād(āt) (to work) +‎ -nieks. It is also possible that it was derived from an older (and still dialectally attested) noun strāda (harvest time), probably a borrowing from Russian dialectal time of heavy (farm) work; heavy (farm) work (time of heavy (farm) work; heavy (farm) work). Originally the meaning of strādnieks was “one who works well, hard,” and referred mostly to farm work. The current meaning “worker (in general)” started in the mid-19th century, especially in writings published in the newspaper “Peterburgas Avīze.”[1]


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strādnieks m (1st declension, feminine form: strādniece)

  1. (male) worker, workman, laborer (a man, person who with his or her work produces something material or cultural)
    čakls strādnieks — hard-working laborer
    teicams strādnieks — excellent worker
    garīga darba strādnieks — clerical worker
    vairums iedzīvotāju bija vienkārši gadījuma strādnieki, kas dzīvoja, tā sakot, no rokas mutē — the majority of the inhabitants were simply casual laborers, workers, who lived, so to speak, from hand to mouth
  2. (male) worker, workman (a man, person who, under a contract of employment, works (e.g., in industry), usually directly in contact with the object being produced)
    strādnieku šķira — working (lit. workers') class
    strādnieku meistarības konkurssworkers' skills competition
    strādnieku ciematsworkers' village
    Māra nāca no vienkāršas strādnieku ģimenes — Māra came from a simple worker family


Related terms[edit]


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