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The origin of this word is not clear. Some connect it with žaunas(branchiae), from Proto-Baltic *žyuo-, from Proto-Indo-European *ǵ(y)ew-, *ǵyow-(to chew, to chaw); others compare it with žāklis(pitchfork) (cf. the archaic term žokla(pitchfork)). The latter comparison is more likely to be true.[1]


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žoklis m (2nd declension)

  1. (anatomy) jaw (facial bone which supports the teeth; area of the face where this bone is located)
    apakšējais, augšējais žoklis‎ ― lower, upper jaw
    žokļa kauls‎ ― jaw bone
    spēcīgi žokļi‎ ― strong jaws
    plati atplest žokļus‎ ― to open one's jaws wide
    kustināt žokļus ēdot‎ ― to move (one's) jaws (while) eating
    cilvēkam pilnā zobu rindā katrā žoklī ir 16 zobu, tātad pavisam 32‎ ― people have in every jaw a set of 16 teeth, i.e., in total 32
  2. (of animals) jaw (the corresponding structure in other animals)
    zivs muti norobežo kaula žokļi; žokļos ir sīki, atpakaļ atliekti zobiņi, kas ļoti labi noder barības notveršanai‎ ― a fish's mouth is delimited by the jaw bones; in the jaws (there) are small, back-curved denticles, which are very useful for capturing food
  3. (technology) jaw-like component in a machine, tool, etc., for catching, holding or compressing something}}
    drupinātajā žoklis‎ ― crusher jaw
    beidzot ekskavatora kausa žokļi paveras, grants smagi noplakšķ kravas kastē‎ ― finally the excavator bucket jaws opened, (and) the gravel splattered heavily in the cargo box



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