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From Proto-Baltic *wetuṣa-, *wetsa-, from Proto-Indo-European *wet-(year) with an extra (adjectivizing) suffix -(e)s. The original meaning was “of (the) year,” “one year old” (opposed to one born now, recently), from which “older one.” It is also possible that the stem *wet- already had the meaning “previous, earlier,” with the meaning “year” being derived (e.g., “previous, earlier lamb” > “lamb from last year”); compare the meaning relation between Ancient Greek ἕνος(hénos, old, first, former) (< *senos), δί-ενος(dí-enos, two-year-old). Cognates include Lithuanian vẽtušas, dialectal vẽčas, Old Church Slavonic вєтъхъ(vetŭxŭ, old, aged, ancient), Russian ветхий(vétxij, old, aged), Ukrainian вітхий(vіtxyj, old, aged), Bulgarian ветъх(vétǎx), Czech vetchý, Polish wiotchy, wiotki, Gothic 𐍅𐌹𐌸𐍂𐌿𐍃(́wiþrus, one-year-old lamb), German Widder(ram), Proto-Celtic *wetsi- (Middle Irish feis, Cornish guis, both “sow that has already given birth” < “from last year”), Hittite witt- (< *wet-), Sanskrit वत्स(vatsá, year; calf), *vátas-, Ancient Greek ἔτος(étos, year), dialectal ϝέτος(wétos), Latin vetus(old, ancient).[1]


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vecs (def. vecais, comp. vecāks, sup. visvecākais; irreg. adv. (none))

  1. (of people, living beings) old (who has lived relatively long, relatively many years)
    vecajam ir gādīga tēva sirds‎ ― the old (man) has a caring father's heart
    veca sievete‎ ― old woman
    vecā paaudze‎ ― the old generation
    vecs vilks‎ ― old wolf
    vecas govis‎ ― old cows
    veca liepa‎ ― old lime tree
    vecs mežs‎ ― old forest
  2. (with age indications in the accusative) old
    mēnesi vecs bērns‎ ― a one-month-old child
    divpadsmit gadus vecs pusaudzis‎ ― twelve-year-old teenager
    Erfurte ir vairāk nekā tūkstoš gadu veca‎ ― (the city of) Erfurt is more than a thousand years old
  3. old (typical of aged people; weak)
    vecas kājas‎ ― old legs
    veca sirds‎ ― old heart
  4. old (who has worked long, who has much experience)
    veci zvejnieki‎ ― old, experienced fishermen
    vecs kolekcionārs‎ ― old collector
    vecs fotoamatieris‎ ― old amateur photographer
  5. old (who has lived somewhere for a long time)
    vecs šejienietis‎ ― old local, someone who has lived here long
  6. old (who has been known for a long time)
    veca paziņa‎ ― old acquaintance
    veci draugi‎ ― old friends
  7. old (which was founded, created, built, made long ago, which has existed, has been known for a relatively long time)
    vecs muižas centrs‎ ― old manor
    vecas mājas‎ ― old house
    veca pilsēta‎ ― old city
    vecā pasaule, vecais kontinents‎ ― old world, old continent (Europe, Africa, Asia)
    vecs rakstāmgalds‎ ― old desk
    vecas tradīcijas‎ ― old tradition
    veca mīlestība‎ ― old love
    vecs joks‎ ― old joke
    veca ziņģe‎ ― old popular song
    vecs dokuments‎ ― old document
  8. (of plants, crops; chiefly definite forms) old (which grew, became ripe a long time ago; which was harvested the previous year)
    vecie rudzi, kartupeļi‎ ― old rye, potatoes
    uzturā izlieto jaunas saknes, vecās saknes ir negaršīgas, koksnainas‎ ― in food one uses new roots, the old roots are unpalatable, woody
  9. (of objects, buildings) old (worn out, used for a long time, not suitable for further use)
    zvana tornis kapsētā bija vecs, apsūnojis‎ ― the bell tower in the cemetery was old, mossy
    veca, salāpīta vīriešu žakete‎ ― old, patched men's jacket
    saimnieks atdevis savus vecos zābakus‎ ― the landlord gave away his old boots
  10. (of food) old (which was stored for a long time ago, which is no longer fit to be eaten)
    vecs ievārījums‎ ― old jam
    veca zupa‎ ― old soup
  11. (of systems) old (no longer in use, no longer valid)
    vecs kalendārs‎ ― old calendar
    veca caurlaide‎ ― old pass, badge
  12. (of time period; chiefly definite forms) old (already passed, already gone by; relating to past times)
    vecais gads‎ ― old year (i.e., the previous year)
    vecie laiki‎ ― old times
    vecā nauda‎ ― old money
    vecais valsts aparāts‎ ― old state apparatus
    veci notikumi‎ ― old events
  13. (chiefly definite forms) old, previous (which existed before (something else), before the current one, which was replaced by a new one)
    vecais direktors‎ ― the old director
    upes vecā gultne‎ ― the river's old bed
    vecā adrese‎ ― the old, previous address
    Vecā Derība‎ ― the Old Testament (first half of the Bible)
    vecā stila (Jūlija) kalendārs‎ ― old style (Julian) calendar
    vecā ortogrāfija‎ ― the old spelling (used in Latvia before the early 20th century)
  14. (definite form, used nominally) old one (one of two spouses, mentioned by the other one; a parent, mentioned by the child; (plural) parents (syn. vecāki))
    man jau nav vaļas tā sēdēt; vecais gaida mājā‎ ― I don't have the leisure to sit like that; the old one (i.e., my husband) is waiting in the house
    “kur tēvs?” “tavs vecais? sveiks un vesels...”‎ ― “where (is) father?” “your old one? safe and sound...”
    tev negribējās mācīties; bet vecie piespieda un pareizi darīja‎ ― you didn't want to study; but your old ones (= parents) forced you to, and that was well done
  15. (definite form, used nominally) old one, old thing (something out of date, outmoded; something which hinders new developments)
    mūžīgi ārdoša cīņa starp iegūto veco un vienmēr topošo jauno‎ ― the eternally raging battle between the stable old and the always emerging new




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