From the same stem as the verb aut (“to put on (footwear)”): *ap-aw-as > apavs. The original meaning, probably “bandage,” “covering (cloth),” was already often connected to footwear in 17th- and 18th-century texts, though not obligatorily (cf. expressions like kāju apavs “foot apavs” in folk tales). Cognates include Lithuanian ãpavas, Russian обувь (óbuv’), Czech obuv, Polish obuw.
apavs m (1st declension)
- footwear (shoes, boots, sandals, etc.)
- ādas, gumijas apavi — leather, rubber footwear, shoes
- vasaras, ziemas apavi — summer, winter fotwear, shoes
- viegli, smagi apavi — light, heavy footwear, shoes
- mājas apavi — home, indoor shoes, footwear
- labot apavus — to mend, to repair shoes, fotwear
- kurpnieks novietoja kurpi uz plaukta blakus citiem labojamiem apaviem — the cobbler placed the shoe on the shelf, next to the other footwear to be mended
- gaumīgi iekārtotajās veikala telpās vitrinās izvietotas dāždažādu lielumu, fasonu un krāsu kurpes un citi apavi — in the indoor showcases of a tastefully decorated shop one places shoes and other footwear of various sizes, styles and colors
- un pēkšņi šķiet: ir apavs caurs — and suddenly it seemed: the shoe has a hole
Latvian apavi is more frequently used than English footwear and is often better translated as shoes (cf. Russian обувь (óbuv’)); the term kāja, usually "leg", "foot", is less frequently used as a synonym. Note also that the plural forms (apavi, etc.) are much more frequently used than the singular forms (apavs, etc.)
- ^ “apavs” in Konstantīns Karulis (1992, 2001), Latviešu Etimoloģijas Vārdnīca (Rīga: AVOTS) ISBN: 9984-700-12-7.