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From Proto-Baltic *weiš- (with metathesis of ei to ie), from Proto-Indo-European *weyḱ- (house, settlement), from *wey- (to cut, to bend, to braid, to weave). Initially viesis was inflected both as an i-stem and as an o-stem (*viesis, *viesas; the i-stem plural form viesis was still in use in the 17th century), whence its present-day irregular (non-s/š-alternating) declension. The change in meaning, from “house” to “guest,” occurred via old compounds like *vies-pats “lord of the house” (during celebrations, the lord of the house was also the host, the “lord of the guests,” which led to the reinterpretation of the meaning of the initial vies-), and probably also under the influence of (now dated) verb viesēt, originally “to go to someone's house, village,” later “to visit,” “to be a visitor.”

Cognates include Lithuanian archaic viešis (guest, visitor), viešpats (deity; lord, governor), viẽšės (a visit), viešė́ti (to visit), váišės (celebrations, feasts), vaišìnti (to entertain, to treat), Old Prussian waispattin (wife), Proto-Slavic *vьsь (village) (Russian весь (vesʹ), Russian dialectal ве́слина (véslina), весца́ (vescá, small village), Old East Slavic весь (vesĭ), Belarusian вёска (vjóska), Czech ves, Polish wieś (village)), Gothic 𐍅𐌴𐌹𐌷𐍃 (weihs, village), Sanskrit विश् (viś, village, settlement, tribe), विश्पतिः (viśpátiḥ, lord of the house, village elder, chief), वेशः (veśáḥ, inhabitant, neighbor), Ancient Greek οἶκος (oîkos), dialectal ϝοῖκος (woîkos, house, dwelling, fence, cage), Latin vīcus (group of houses, village).[1]


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viesis m (2nd declension, feminine form: viese)

  1. (male) visitor, guest (a person who comes to visit someone, and/or stays for a short time)
    kāzu viesiwedding guests
    ilgi gaidīts viesislong-awaited guest
    lūgti viesiinvited guests
    rets viesisrare guest
    nelūgts viesisuninvited guest
    viesu grāmataguestbook
    saņemt, uzņemt viesusto receive guests
    pavadīt viesusto accompany the guests
    aicināt viesus pie galdato invite the guests to the table
    iet pie kāda viesosto visit someone (lit. to go to someone in (= as) guests)
  2. (male) guest (a person, usually officially invited, who comes to participate in an event)
    ārzemju viesiforeign guests
    sagaidīt konferences viesus lidostāto meet the conference guests at the airport
    skatītāji, klausītāji aplaudēja viesimthe audience applauded the guest



Derived terms[edit]


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