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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 dienasyoung 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. ^ “puika” in Konstantīns Karulis (1992, 2001), Latviešu Etimoloģijas Vārdnīca, in 2 vols, Rīga: AVOTS, ISBN 9984-700-12-7