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See also: ilens




Traditionally, this word is seen as a borrowing from Gothic 𐌴𐌻𐌰 ‎(ēla, awl), perhaps via Old Prussian ylo ‎(awl). The Gothic e was very narrow (tense), so it was replaced by ī when borrowed. This loanword is first mentioned in 17th-century dictionaries. A more recent theory, however, connects īlens to ilknis ‎(fang, tusk), ilkss ‎(shaft), and with Hittite illuyanka ‎(dragon; snake), where il- apparently refers to something sharp (fang, horn, stinger), in which case īlens might be a retention rather than a borrowing, ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *eil-, *il-, *īl-, from *ei-, *h₁ei- ‎(sharp, pointed), via a probable Proto-Baltic *īl- +‎ -ens.[1]




īlens m (1st declension)

  1. awl (pointed instrument for piercing small holes)
    izdurt caurumus ar īlenu — to pierce, prick holes with an awl
    ass ka īlens — sharp as an awl
    dur kā ar īlenu — it pierces as if with an awl (e.g., sharp pain)



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