čūska

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See also: cūška, cūškā, and čūskā

Latvian[edit]

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 Čūskas on Latvian Wikipedia

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Čūska

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

This word is traditionally related to čukstēt ‎(to whisper; to hiss, to sizzle) and considered imitative of a snake's hissing noise. It seems more likely, though, that the sound symbolism has influenced (cf. dialectal variants ķūska, cūška), but not created, the word, which could then be derived from earlier *čuk-skā-, from *ķuk-, *tʲuk with a suffix -skā, from Proto-Baltic *tyuk-, from Proto-Indo-European *tewk-, *tūk-, from a stem *tew-, *stew- ‎(to strike, to crush; to pierce) (whence also Middle Low German stoken ‎(to stab, to prickle), German stochern ‎(to pick, to poke), Sanskrit दति ‎(tudáti, to push, to strike, to jab, to pierce)). The original meaning of čūska was “one who stabs, pokes, pierces” (cf. dialectal verb čūkāt, čūskāt ‎(to pick, to poke), čuslis ‎(long, pointed skewer; oven poker)), and it was at first a nickname which replaced the earlier term odze, now restricted to a specific type of snake (“viper”).[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

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Noun[edit]

čūska f (4th declension)

  1. snake (many species of legless reptiles of the suborder Serpentes)
    indīga čūska — poisonous snake
    gludenā čūska — smooth snake (Coronella austriaca)
    čūskas kodums, kodienssnake bite
    čūska dzeļ, šņāc, ložņā — the snake bites, hisses, crawls
    lokās kā čūska — s/he twists, writhes like a snake
  2. a malicious, evil person

Declension[edit]

References[edit]

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