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From Proto-Baltic *teyk-, apparently from Proto-Indo-European *tek-, *tēk- (to stretch (hands), to grab). Semantic evolution: “to stretch one's arms, hands” → “to grab, to catch; to ask for (with a hand gesture)” → “to say something while asking for something, to ask for something orally” → “to say” (compare the meaning of Danish tigge, Old Swedish þiggja (to get, to grab; to ask for)). Cognates include Lithuanian teĩkti (to wish; to give) (dialectally also “to say, to tell, to inform”), teĩgti, téigti (to assert, to say).[1]


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teikt tr., 1st conj., pres. teicu, teic, teic, past teicu

  1. to say, to tell (to express something, especially something short, orally)
    teikt dažus vārdusto say a few words
    teikt patiesībuto tell the truth
    teikt, sacīt labrītu (labdienu, labvakaru)to say good morning (good day, good evening)
    teikt, sacīt paldiesto say thank you
    “neraudi, Zuze! un neļauj skuķiem brēkt”, Vilis aizsmacis teic“don't cry, Zuze! and don't let the children scream,” Vilis says hoarsely
  2. to say, to tell (to make something known, to inform about something)
    ja kādu satiec, teic savu nelaimi un tiksi no tās vaļāif you meet, run into someone, tell (him) your misfortune and you will get rid of it
  3. to say, to tell, to order, to warn
    “es jums teicu: ejiet ārā no veikala!” pārdevēja pacēla balsi“I told you: get out of the store!” the saleswoman raised her voice
    cik reižu nav teikts: mācies svešvalodashow many times is it said: learn foreign languages
  4. to say (to have and/or to express an oppinion; to express something in a work of art, or in a written text)
    teikt, sacīt savu vārduto tell one's opinion (lit. to say one's word)
    “kas teica, ka tā būs atgriešanās pie individuālajām metodēm!” domāja Arturs“who/what said that this will be a return to individual methods!” Arturs thought
  5. (in the debitive 3rd person) it must be said, it must be admitted, I have to say (that...)
    “bet jāteic”, vēzis turpināja, “ka, arī no ūdens izrauti, mani brāļi nekrita izmisumā” — “but I have to say,” the crayfish continued, “that, even pulled out of the water, my brothers did not fall into despair”
  6. (figuratively) to say (to express non-orally, with one's actions, facial expressions, etc.)
    viņš paskatījās uz savu vecāko dēlu ar tādu skatienu, kas nepārprotami teica: “vajadzētu ņemt siksnu”he looked at his eldest son with a look that clearly said: “(I) should get (my) belt (to hit you)”
  7. (figuratively) to say (to be, to happen in such a way that some conclusion or information can be deduced, obtained)
    katrs nams, kad to apskatīja no augšas līdz apakšai, teica kaut ko jaunueach house, when one looked at it from top to bottom, said something new
  8. (in the combination neteikt nekā, neteikt neko) to not reproach, to not condemn, to not complain (lit. to say nothing)
    šoreiz viņa nekā neteica par visām meitenēm, kas staigā bez galvassegāmthis time she said nothing about all the girls who were walking around without headgear
  9. (dated sense) to call, to consider (something as something else)
    visā pagastā Jāni ar Latiņu teic par laimīgu pāriin the whole parish (people) say (= call) Jānis and Latiņa a happy couple
    un man ir vienalga, ka bērza malku stiprāku teicand I don't care that they say (= consider) birch wood stronger
  10. (dated sense) to praise, to exalt
    dažu rudeni, dažu pavasari Silabriedis pat teica dievu, kad ar muižu nepalika parādāsome autumn(s), some spring(s) Silabridis even praised god when the manor did not go in debt

Usage notes[edit]

The verbs sacīt and teikt seem to be near-perfect synonyms. Note, however, that the present tense forms of teikt are often not used; the correspoding forms of sacīt are much more frequent.



Derived terms[edit]

prefixed verbs:
other derived terms:


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