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From the verb šķīst (to become liquid; to melt; to dissolve; to disintegrate), earlier meaning “to clean” (q.v.), of which it was originally the past participle; this verb, in turn, comes from *skīsti, from *skid-ti, from Proto-Baltic *skeyd, *skīd-, *skid-, possibly from a kʷʰ-initial phonological variant of Proto-Indo-European *gʷʰéy (clear, light, shiny) with an extra d (the initial s being probably an s-mobile); the meaning evolved from “clear” to “liquid” (via “clean”). Some researchers suggest a different source: Proto-Indo-European *skey-, *skēy- (to cut, to split) with an extra -d; in this case, the semantic evolution would have been “to cut, to split” > “to move quickly in all directions” > “to splash” > “to be (like) a liquid” (whence “clear, clean”). Cognates include Lithuanian skýstas (thin) (of liquids), Old Prussian skijstan (clean) (accusative), Proto-Slavic *čistъ (clean, pure) (Russian чистый (čístyj), Ukrainian чистий (čýstyj), Bulgarian чист (čist), Czech čistý, Polish czysty).[1]


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šķīsts (definite šķīstais, comparative šķīstāks, superlative visšķīstākais, adverb šķīsti)

  1. (religion) pure, immaculate, without sin (who never sinned; who was purified, who had his/her sins forgiven)
    šķīsts ticīgaispure believer
  2. (morally) pure, virtuous (who follows high moral standards)
    nekas, pēc viņas domām, nebija tik šķīsts un dievišķīgs kā viņas pirmā mīlestībanothing, in her opinino, was as pure and divine as her first love
    puisis šķīstā jaunības dedzībā godīgi izstāstīja visu dzirdētothe young man, in the virtuous enthusiasm of youth, repeated truthfully all he had heard
    ai daktera kungs, manam bērnam gan nav pērļu un dārgu akmeņu, bet viņas rota ir viņas tikums un šķīstā sirdsoh, doctor, my child does not have pearls and precious stones; his playthings are his honesty and his pure, virtuous heart
  3. virgin, virginal, chaste (not having had sex yet; who refrains voluntarily from having sex)
    tu gan izliecies aplam šķīsta jaunava; varbūt arī tāda esi?you have deviated wrongly (= to the wrong path), chaste young woman; are you maybe (still) such (= chaste)?
  4. (dated sense, usually about clothes, body) clean
    labi izmazgātie un izvelētie, šķīstu mirdzumu starojošie linu krekliwell washed, well cleaned shirts, having (lit. radiating) a clean shine



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