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 krēsls on Latvian Wikipedia
Krēsls (1)


Some researchers consider this word borrowed from Slavic, where a possible Proto-Slavic *krěslo could be related to *krosno (loom, weaving frame), the rectangular form of which is reminiscent of chairs. Other researchers, pointing out that this would not explain the number of cognate formations in Baltic (e.g., dialectal Latvian kreslis (removable sleigh backrest), kreša (little bench), dialectal Lithuanian krãsė, kresė̃ (chair), krẽstas (bench)), suggest that the Slavic cognates are actually borrowings from Baltic. The latter hypothesis is supported by their distribution: there are no reflexes in Southern Slavic languages (the Bulgarian cognate is a later borrowing). If so, krēsls would come (via Proto-Baltic *krēs- with an extra l) from the same stem as the verb krest (to shake), older meaning “to braid, to weave” (for a link between the notions of “shaking” and “weaving,” see Old Norse hrista (to shake), Middle Low German risten (to braid, to weave)): Proto-Indo-European *kert-, *kret-, from *(s)ker- (to turn, to bend). The original meaning would then have been “woven object” (folk songs suggest that earlier chairs were indeed made by weaving wickers). Cognates include Lithuanian krė́slas (chair; chair with backrest; armchair), Old Prussian creslan (chair with backrest), Russian кре́сло (kréslo, armchair), Bulgarian кресло́ (kresló, armchair), Czech křeslo (armchair), Polish krzesło (armchair).[1]




krēsls m (1st declension)

  1. chair (piece of furniture for sitting, consisting of a backrest and a single seat mounted on several, usually four, feet)
    pīts krēslswicker chair
    meldru krēslsrush, reed chair
    grozāmais krēslsswivel chair
    saliekamais krēslsfolding chair
    atpūtas krēslsarmchair (lit. resting chair)
    atzveltnes krēslschair with a large backrest (lit. backrest chair)
    goda krēslshonor chair (where the honor guest will sit)
    stomatoloģiskais krēslsdentist's chair
    elektriskais krēslselectric chair (for executing criminals)
    bikts krēslsconfession chair, confessional
    Svētais KrēslsHoly See (lit. Holy Chair, which the Pope sits on)
    māte atkrita krēslā un aizsedza vaigu ar priekšautumother fell into the chair and hid her face in (her) apron
    Andrejs un Milda lēni atlaidās mīkstajos krēslos, lai gan sēdēt nemaz negribējāsAndrejs and Milda slowly sat down on the soft (arm)chairs, though they did not feel at all like sitting
  2. (construction) a structure of beams that supports the rafters and the roof of a house; roof truss
    jumta krēslsroof chair (= truss)

Usage notes[edit]

Latviešu etimoloģijas vārdnīca indicates this term as having a level intonation. In practice, however, it is very commonly pronounced with a broken tone, this also allows to differentiate it from krēsla (dusk, twilight). Perhaps the switch in tone is by contamination with the Russian term кре́сло (kréslo, armchair) (although the Russian language doesn't have contrastive tones the typical way vowels are realized in Russian can be perceived by Latvian speakers as a universal broken tone.)



  1. ^ Karulis, Konstantīns (1992) “krēsls”, in Latviešu Etimoloģijas Vārdnīca (in Latvian), Rīga: AVOTS, →ISBN