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A 19th-century neologism, coined by A. Kronvalds, who claimed to have derived it from pilst(to be(come) full, complete) +‎ -onis, following the example of mirt(to die), mironis(corpse). K. Mīlenbahs criticized it as an incorrect derivation from pils(castle) (compare German Bürger(citizien), from Burg(castle, fortress)). Kronvalds had indeed derived and proposed terms derived from pils for “citizen” (pilietis, pilnietis, which were not successful), but not pilsonis.[1]


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pilsonis m (2nd declension, feminine form: pilsone)

  1. (male) citizen (a legal member of a state)
    Latvijas Republikas pilsonis‎ ― citizen of the Latvian Republic
    pilsoņu tiesības‎ ― civil (lit. citizens') rights
    pilsoņu brīvības‎ ― civil (lit. citizens') liberties
    ārvalsts pilsonis‎ ― foreign citizen
    goda pilsonis‎ ― honorary citizen
    pilsoņu karš‎ ― civil (lit. citizens') war


Derived terms[edit]


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