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See also: usa, Usa, USA, U.S.A., ușă, and ūsā


Melnas ūsas (1)
Kaķa ūsas (2)
Zivs ūsas (3)
Prusaka ūsas (3)


A borrowing from Old East Slavic усъ(usŭ, moustache, beard) (compare Russian усы(usý, moustache)). The word apparently entered the language in the 18th century, at first mostly in more Eastern dialects: at the beginning of the 19th century, it was still little known in northern Vidzeme. By the mid-19th century, however, it had become more widely known, albeit with variations (ūse, ūsi, ūsas). The form ūsas became stable only at the end of the 19th century.[1]


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ūsa f (4th declension)

  1. (chiefly in the plural) moustache (hair between the nose and the lips)
    melnas ūsas‎ ― black moustache
    kuplas ūsas‎ ― bushy moustache
    audzēt ūsas‎ ― to grow a moustache
    noglaudīt ūsas‎ ― to stroke (one's) moustache
    skrullēt ūsu galus‎ ― to twirl (one's) moustache tips
  2. (chiefly in the plural) whiskers (hair-like tactile projections on the sides of the upper lip of certain mammals)
    kaķis ar garām, baltām ūsām‎ ― a cat with long, white whiskers
    žurkas purns ar pagarajām ūsām‎ ― a rat's muzzle with extended, long whiskers
  3. barbels, antennae (hair-like feeler organ on fish, insects, etc.)
    sams sāka peldēt: liela galva, garās ūsas, tumša mugura‎ ― the catfish started swimming: big head, long barbels, dark back
    ja prusakiem tiek zaudēta kāja vai ūsa, kukainis to spēj ataudzēt‎ ― if cockroaches lose a leg or an antenna, the insect can regenerate it, grow it again


Usage notes[edit]

Even though the singular forms do exist and are occasionally found (especially in the “insect antenna” sense), the plural forms are much more frequent.

Derived terms[edit]


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