There are diverging theories on the origin of this word. The most likely derives it from the past particle of an old unattested verb *kūt (“to hit, to strike”), whence also kūja (“stick, pole”) (q.v.); the original meaning would be “hit (one),” “driven, stuck (into the ground),” referring to the fact that primitive animal barns or sheds were little more than fenced enclosures made with poles or sticks driven into the ground (the farm buildings which inherited the name appeared only in the 9th-10th century). The original participle, probably an a-stem (*kūtas), became an i-stem (*kūtis > kūts), possibly under the influence of other i-stem farm building names like klēts (“barn, granary”), pirts (“bath”). Another hypothesis is that the long ū might come from an earlier un, in which case kūts would be related to Proto-Slavic *kǫšta (“tend, shed, covered place”) (Ukrainian куча (kúča, “pigsty”), Bulgarian къшта (kǎ́šta, “shed”), Russian dialectal кут (kut, “corner, nook”)). The Lithuanian cognates (kūtìs, kū̃tė), however, have ū instead of the expected un, which weakens this hypothesis.
kūts f (6th declension)
- (animal) barn, shed, pen, sty (building in a farm for keeping animals)
- govju kūts — cowshed
- putnu kūts — bird shed
- cūku kūts, cūkkūts — pigsty
- kūts mēsli, kūtsmēsli — manure
- dziļā kūts — deep barn (provided with a manure storage space)
- seklā kūts — shallow barn (one without a manure storage space)
- sadzīt lopus kūtī — to drive the animals into the barn
- ^ “kūts” in Konstantīns Karulis (1992, 2001), Latviešu Etimoloģijas Vārdnīca (Rīga: AVOTS) ISBN: 9984-700-12-7.