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Probably from strād(āt) (to work) +‎ -nieks. It is also possible that it was derived from an older (and still dialectally attested) noun strāda (harvest time), probably a borrowing from Russian dialectal страда (strada, time of heavy (farm) work; heavy (farm) work). Originally the meaning of strādnieks was “one who works well, hard,” and referred mostly to farm work. The current meaning “worker (in general)” started in the mid-19th century, especially in writings published in the newspaper “Peterburgas Avīze.”[1]


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strādnieks m (1st declension, feminine form: strādniece)

  1. (male) worker, workman, laborer (a man, person who with his or her work produces something material or cultural)
    čakls strādniekshard-working laborer
    teicams strādnieksexcellent worker
    garīga darba strādnieksclerical worker
    vairums iedzīvotāju bija vienkārši gadījuma strādnieki, kas dzīvoja, tā sakot, no rokas mutēthe majority of the inhabitants were simply casual laborers, workers, who lived, so to speak, from hand to mouth
  2. (male) worker, workman (a man, person who, under a contract of employment, works (e.g., in industry), usually directly in contact with the object being produced)
    strādnieku šķiraworking (lit. workers') class
    strādnieku meistarības konkurssworkers' skills competition
    strādnieku ciematsworkers' village
    Māra nāca no vienkāršas strādnieku ģimenesMāra came from a simple worker family




  1. ^ Karulis, Konstantīns (1992) “strādāt”, in Latviešu Etimoloģijas Vārdnīca (in Latvian), Rīga: AVOTS, →ISBN