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The origin of this word is unclear. One possibility is that it a form of the dialectal verb kumt “to bend, to stoop,” from Proto-Indo-European *kew-, *ku- “to swell, to bend” with an extra -m. The initial s would result from variation, as in the case of kumšķis ~ skumšķis (q.v.). The original meaning would thus have been “to bend, to stoop,” presumably from sadness, distress, depression (note the use of the prefix no- in the perfective noskumt; originally, no- denoted upward motion). Another hypothesis suggests a connection with the idea of “dark” or “darkening,” deriving skumt from Proto-Indo-European *kew- “to cover,” from which also Norwegian skume “dark,” Old Norse skūmi “twilight.”[1]


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skumt intr., 1st conj., pres. skumstu, skumsti, skumst, past skumu

  1. to be, become sad, to sadden, to feel sadness, sorrow, to grieve
    skumt par neveiksmēm — to be sad about a failure
    un tomēr viņš gaidīja pavasari un skuma, ka ziema ir tik gara un barga — and yet he waited for spring and was sad about winter being so long and harsh
    patiesību sakot, viņš daudz neskuma par Ēvalda aiziešanu — truth be told, he wasn't really sad about Ēvalds' departure
    dārznieks skuma pēc sava mīļotā dēla un raudāja žēlas asaras — the gardener grieved for his beloved son and cried sorrowful tears
    vientuļa, tukša skumst pamestā māja, / dūmenī vēji tik pusnaktīs gaudo — lonely, empty, the abandoned house is sad, / the winds in the chimney howl at midnight



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




  1. absolute indefinite neuter form of skum.