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A borrowing from Livonian pȯis (little child) (cf. also Estonian puiss, Finnish dialectal puissi), the diminutive of pūoga (son, child), from which was borrowed also puika (q.v.). Apparently, puisis is older than puika, since it is already mentioned in 17th-century sources, and occurs in 16th-century family names.[1]


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puisis m (2nd declension)

  1. (unmarried) young man, youth, boy
    puiša dienas‎ ― young man's days (i.e., before marriage)
    palikt, dzīvot puisī‎ ― to remain, to live as (lit. in) a young man (= unmarried)
    vasarā klēts bija jauniešu - puišu un meitu - iemīļota satikšanās vieta‎ ― in summer the barn was the favorite meeting place of young people - boys and girls
    un nākotne nu bija tāda, ka Ilga precēsies ar šo puisi‎ ― and the future was now such that Ilga (had) married this young man
  2. (less frequentlly) boy (male child)
    “cik tev gadu, puis?” prasu zēnam; “drīz būs četri, bet pagaidām... trīs un divi mēneši”, viņš lepni atbild‎ ― “how old are you, boy?” I ask the boy; “soon I'll be four, but for now... three and two months,” he answered proudly
  3. (dated) servant, help; unmarried servant
    krogus puisis‎ ― the pub, bar boy (= bartender)
    pasta puisis‎ ― the mail guy (= mailman, postman)
    zirgu puisis‎ ― horse, stable boy
    vasara puisis‎ ― a summer boy (= hired for the summer)
    salīgt pie saimnieka par puisi‎ ― to be hired by a farmer as a boy (= young servant)




Derived terms[edit]


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