zēns

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Latvian[edit]

Zēns

Etymology[edit]

A borrowing from Middle High German söhn (son) (sȫne); cf. Sohn (son). The e is the nearest vowel to ö in Latvian; the length probably results from the influence of dēls (son). In an 18th-century dictionary, zēns is mentioned as “rarely used,” and only in the area around Riga and in Courland; in the 19th century, the word was still mostly used in Courland, but had already entered the literary language, as a synonym of puisis.[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

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Noun[edit]

zēns m (1st declension)

  1. boy (a male child, approximately until 11 years of age)
    zēnu korisboy choir
    zēnu apģērbiboys' clothes
    zēnu rotaļasboys' games
    zēnu nedarbiboys' mischief
    zēnu skolaboys' school
    zēnu istabathe boys' room (restroom, especially at school)
    Haris ir zēns, viņam vēl tālu līdz lielam cilvēkam, viņš daudz nesaprotHaris is a boy, he has a long way to go to become a grown-up, he doesn't understand much
  2. young (especially adolescent) man
    sanāca vairāk nekā divdesmit vīriešu, visvairāk jauni zēni, bet arī pusmūža vīri un pat pāris sirmgalvjumore than twenty men came, mostly young boys, bet also some middle-aged men and a few seniors
    es vēl negribu uzņemties rūpes par ģimeni... es esmu pavisam zaļš zēnsI don't want to take care of the family yet... I am (still) a very green (= immature) boy
  3. boy, boyfriend (a young man in whom a woman is romantically interested)
    meitenei bija savs zēnsthe girl had a boy(friend)
    no tās reizes, kad Jautrīte Raiņa vidusskolas sarīkojumā iepazinās ar Guntaru, daži sāka sačukstēties, ka Guntars esot Jautrītes zēnsfrom that time when Jautrīte met Guntars at the event in the Rainis middle school, some (people) started to whisper that Guntars was Jautrīte's boy (= boyfriend)
  4. (usually with an adjective or adjectival expression) boy, guy (a young man seen as having some, usually positive, quality)
    viņš ir lāga zēnshe is a nice guy
    tēvocis patiešām bija zelta zēnsuncle really was a golden boy
    vecais zēnsold boy! (used to show familiarity, friendship)

Declension[edit]

Synonyms[edit]

Antonyms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

References[edit]

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