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See also: Gints



Traditionally considered borrowed from Lithuanian gentìs (family, kin group, clan, tribe; relative). But the Lithuanian form has en instead of in; in occurs only in some Eastern Lithuanian dialects. Also, in the 17th century, Latvian forms with in are attested in Semigallia (Zemgale), agreeing with the [in] in Old Prussian gyntos (men, husbands); it may therefore be that ģints was originally not a borrowing but an old Curonian word which later spread from Western Latvia to Semigallia. Note that older Semigallian dialects sometimes conserved initial ģ (> dz in standard Latvian): cf. place names like Ģintumi or Ģinuļi. If this is the case, then ģints, like Lithuanian gentìs, reflects Proto-Indo-European *ǵen- (< *ǵenh₁-) “to create,” “to give birth” (via an unaltered Proto-Baltic *gint-, where the initial g, instead of ž, results from either the influence of the related stem *gʷem-, whence also dzemdēt “to give birth,” or from conservative dialectal variants).[1]


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ģints f (6th declension)

  1. (historical, anthropology) family, kin group, clan (a primitive unit of social organization, based on blood relations and lineage from a common ancestor)
    patriarhālā ģintspatriarchal family
    ģints iekārtafamily order, organization, system
    ģints sabiedrībafamiliar society (i.e., composed of families)
    mātes ģintsmaternal, matriarchal family (where descent goes through the mother's line)
    tēvas ģintspaternal, patriarchal family (where descent goes through the father's line)
  2. (poetic) people (group of people with common interests, ideas, goals, viewpoints)
    bet stāv pats nams! viņš dibināts uz klints, / un viņu sargā jaunā darba ģintsbut the house itself stands! it is founded upon a rock, / and it is protected by the young working people
    atceries, atceries varoņu ģinti, / ugunīs gāja tie vārtus tev vērtremember, remember the hero people, / they walked on fire to open the gates for you
  3. (biology, taxonomy) genus (a group of species)
    dzimtas iedala ģintīs... zaķu dzimtā ir divas ģintis: trušu ģints un zaķu ġintsfamilies are divided into genera... in the hare family (Leporidae) there are two genera: the rabbit genus (Oryctolagus) and the hare genus (Lepus)
    zemeņu ģintī izšķiram dārza zemeņu, meža zemeņu un spradzeņu sugasin the strawberry genus we distinguish the garden strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa), the woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca) and the spradzene (Fragaria viridis) species



  • (of "family"): ģimene
  • (of "household," "family + servants"): saime
  • (of "extended family," "kin group"): dzimta
  • (dated term): famīlija


  1. ^ Karulis, Konstantīns (1992), “ģints”, in Latviešu Etimoloģijas Vārdnīca (in Latvian), Rīga: AVOTS, ↑ISBN