From Proto-Baltic *mil-, *mul- (with an extra -k), from Proto-Indo-European *melh₂-, *ml̥h₂- (“to push, to crush, to grate, to grind”) (whence also malt (“to grind, to mill”), q.v.). The semantic evolution was probably “to grind” > “to get lost” (via a comparison between grinding movements and the aimless motion of someone who got lost; see the etymology of maldināt (“to mislead, to deceive”)) > “to be confused, bewildered” > (nominalized) “confused person” > “stupid person”. Cognates include Lithuanian mùlkis, Sanskrit मल्व (malvá, “stupid, foolish, unwise”), Ancient Greek βλᾱ́ξ (blā́x, “coward; stubborn; stupid”) (< *mlāk-). A related word is Russian молча́ть (molčátʹ, “to be silent”) (< *mъlkēti).
muļķis m (2nd declension, feminine form: muļķe)
- (male) fool, stupid man (man with little intelligence)
- uzskatīt, turēt kādu par muļķi ― to consider someone a fool
- zvejot prot katrs muļķis; nodot zivis, tā ir māksla ― any fool can catch fish; to deliver the fish, now that is an art
- muļķis! viņš savā stulbumā bija iznīcinājis manu pašu labāko foreļu vietu ― fool! he in his stupidity had destroyed my own best trout (catching) place