From Proto-Baltic *bēd-, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰēdʰ-, the lengthened grade of *bʰedʰ- (“to bend, to press”). Via ē > ey alternation, there was also a parallel form *bʰeydʰ-, from which derive the Germanic and Greek forms, and its o-grade *bʰoydʰ-, from which derive the Slavic forms. (Some specialists consider bēda a borrowing from Slavic, but the falling intonation is not usually found on borrowings.) The meaning change was probably “to bend, to press” > “to experience coertion, humiliation” > “(to be in) a bad situation.” Cognates include Lithuanian bėdà, Proto-Slavic *bēda (“adversity, misery”) (Russian беда (bedá, “adversity, tribulation, disaster”), Belarusian бедны (bédny), бяда (bjadá), Ukrainian біда (bidá), Czech běda, bída (“need, poverty”), Polish bieda (“poverty, deprivation, unhappiness”)), Gothic 𐌱𐌰𐌹𐌳𐌾𐌰𐌽 (baidjan, “to ask for, to force”), Old High German beitten (“ask for”), Gothic 𐌱𐌹𐌳𐌾𐌰𐌽 (bidjan, “to ask, to request”) (< “to bend”), Old High German, German bitten, Sanskrit बाधते (bā́dhate, “to press”), बाधाः (bādháḥ, “obstacle, hardship”), Ancient Greek πείθω (peithō, “to convince, to persuade”), Latin fīdo (“to trust, to rely upon”) (< *bʰidʰ-, the zero grade of *bʰeydʰ-).
bēda f (4th declension)
- (only plural) sadness, sorrow, grief (emotional state caused by, e.g., unhappiness, loss)
- dziļas bēdas — deep sorrow
- ciest bēdas — to suffer grief
- palīdzēt, dalīties bēdās — to help, to share in (case of) sorrow
- mierināt draugu bēdās — to comfort a friend in sorrow
- bēdu sagrauzts cilvēks — a person afficlted with grief, a grieving person
- trouble, misfortune, disaster (unpleasant event, circumstance, condition; thoughts about such an event; concern)
- liela bēda — great misfortune
- maza bēda — little problem, trouble
- pārvarēt bēdu — to overcome a disaster
- tā nav nekāda bēda — this is no big trouble
- kas man bēdas! — what trouble (is) that to me!
- (= I don't care about it, it doesn't affect me)
- bēdīgs, bēdīgums
- ^ “bēda” in Konstantīns Karulis (1992, 2001), Latviešu Etimoloģijas Vārdnīca (Rīga: AVOTS) ISBN: 9984-700-12-7.
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