From Proto-Baltic *sal-, *sāl-, from Proto-Indo-European *sal-, *seh₂l- (“salt, sea salt”), perhaps related to the homophonous stem *sal- (“grayish, impure gray”). In Latvian, both an i-stem (*salis) and an iyo-stem (*saliyos > *saliys > *salis) were formed, yielding present-day sāls, feminine, genitive sāls, and sāls, masculine, genitive sāļa. Cognates include Lithuanian sólymas (“salt water, brine”) (< *solis), Old Prussian sal, Old Church Slavonic соль (solĭ), Russian соль (solʹ), Ukrainian сіль (silʹ), genitive соли (soly), Bulgarian сол (sol), Czech sůl, Polish sól, Proto-Germanic *sald- (Gothic 𐍃𐌰𐌻𐍄 (salt), Old High German salz, German Salz, English salt), Old Irish salann, Ancient Greek ἅλς (háls), genitive ἁλός (halós), Latin sāl, genitive sālis, Sanskrit सलिल (salilá, “salty”).
sāls f, m (6th or 2nd declension, irregular nominative, genitive)
- salt (white crystalline substance — sodium chloride or NaCl — used for seasoning food)
- vārāmais sāls — common (lit. cooking) salt
- ēdienem par maz sāls — the food has too little salt
- (chemistry) salt (result of a chemical reaction between an acid and a base)
- fosforskābes sāls — phosphoric acid salt
- sērskābes saļi jeb sulfāti — sulfuric acid salts, also known as sulphates
Although officially a feminine sixth-declension noun in standard Latvian, sāls is often used in colloquial Latvian as a masculine second-declension noun.