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 zirgs on Latvian Wikipedia


There are diverging opinions on the origin of this word. The one most likely to be true connects zirgs to the adjective žirgts (brisk, lively, alert) (q.v.) from the (no longer in usage) verb žirgt (to liven up, to freshen up). The original meaning would therefore have been “brisk, agile (animal),” from which “fast runner” and then “horse” (probably via “stallion,” a meaning still attested dialectally for the Lithuanian cognate). Others link zirgs to Latin grex (herd, flock), or to Lithuanian žir̃gti, žer̃gti (to sit astraddle, to sit; to spread one's legs; to walk with one's legs raised high), or perhaps to Lithuanian žer̃ti (to scrape, to scratch; (of horse) to paw), Armenian ձար (jar, mane), or to Old Norse građr (not castrated). Cognates include Lithuanian žìrgas (good, beautiful horse; steed), Old Prussian sirgis ([zirgis], stallion), Sudovian zirgo (horse).[1]


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zirgs m (1st declension)

  1. horse (esp. Equus caballus; generic word)
    šķirnes zirgsbreed horse
    darba zirgswork horse
    sacīkšu zirgsrace horse
    neiebraukts zirgsa horse that has not been run in
    braukt ar zirguto ride (on) a horse
    zirgs rikšo, auļothe horse trots, gallops
    zirgs zviedzthe horse neighs
    apkalt zirguto shoe a horse
    dzirdīt zirgus pie akasto make the horses drink at the well
    jūgt zirgu arklāto harness a horse to a plow
    strādā kā zirgs(s/he) works like a horse


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