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Kalpi (1)
Pīķa kalps (3)


A borrowing from Old East Slavic холпь ‎(xolpĭ, serf, slave) (cf. Russian холоп ‎(xolop)), itself a borrowing from Turkic (or, according to some researchers, a native word, ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *kel-, *skel- “offshoot, seedlings, stem”). The borrowing must have happened by the 13th century at the latest; the first mentions of this word are in 17th-century dictionaries.[1]




kalps m (1st declension, feminine form: kalpone)

  1. farmhand, farm laborer, servant (a paid worker in a farm)
    strādāt par kalpu — to work as a farmhand
    muižas kalpi — the mannor's laborers
    pieņemt, atlaist, algot kalpus — to accept, to dismiss, to hire servants
    kalpu klēts — the servants' barn (= house)
    kalpa ļaudis — farm workers (lit. farmhand people)
    kāds kungs, tāds kalps — like lord, like servant (folk saying)
    kalpi bija laukstrādnieki, kas salīguši strādāt pie saimniekiem par algu (graudā, vēlāk arī daļēji naudā)farmhands were rural workers who were hired to work for a farmer for wages (paid in grain, later also partially in money)
  2. (figuratively) servant (a person who works for some interest or cause)
    deputāts ir tautas kalps — a congressman is a servant of the people
    dieva kalps — a servant of god (e.g., a priest)
    tumsas kalpiservants of darkness
  3. (card games) jack, knave (the card between 10 and queen, with the image of a young man)
    pīķa kalps — the jack of spades
    kapteinis sāka dalīt kārtis, un Vilks izklaidīgi ņēma tās pretī... tur bija viens kalps un trīs dāmas — the captain began to deal the cards, and Vilks distractedly took them... there were one jack and three queens


Related terms[edit]


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