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Latvian Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia lv


Presumably from earlier *latuvis or *latavis, apparently from a proper name *Latuva or *Latava, applying to some region or river (cf. similar river names in Lithuania: Latavà, Latuvà, also Lãtupis. The initial element Lat-, also found in latgalis (Latgalian), may itself have come from an old river name *Lata, perhaps from Proto-Baltic *lat-, from Proto-Indo-European *lat-, *let-, *lot- (to flow), reflected in Ancient Greek λάταξ (látax, drop), Old Irish laith (liquid; swamp) (< *lati), lathach (silt, mud) (< *latàkā), Old Norse leþja (clay; dregs, sludge), Old High German letto (clay). There are other river and lake names in Europe with a possibly related element lat-, let- in them (Letes, Late, Latupi, Lator patak, Latorica, Lataná). The term latvis, mentioned since the 17th century, was in principle replaced by latvietis already in the 19th century, but was reintroduced into the standard language from poetry. Cognates include Lithuanian lãtvis, Russian латыш (latyš), Polish lotysz, German Lette, English Lett, Estonian läti, Finnish lätti.[1]




latvis m (2nd declension, feminine form: latve)

  1. a (male) Latvian, a Lett; a member of the Latvian ethnic group
  2. (genitive plural): Latvian, pertaining to Latvia and its people
    latvju dainasLatvian folk songs
    latvju zemethe Latvian land
    latvju strēlniekiLatvian riflemen


Usage notes[edit]

The word latvis is a synonym of latvietis, but it is less frequently used, and more often than not refers to ancient Latvians, or Latvians as an ethnic group.


Derived terms[edit]


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


Lithuanian Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia lt


  • IPA(key): [ˈlaːtʲʋʲɪs]


lãtvis m (plural lãtviai, feminine latvė) stress pattern 2

  1. Latvian; a man from Latvia
  2. (in the plural) Latvians in general


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]