- (dialectal form) laima
From the same Proto-Indo-European stem as the verb laist (“to let, to allow”) (q.v.): *laid-mē > laime. The verb laist can also mean “to give, to grant,” which would suggest for laime the original meaning of “given, granted (thing),” which could be either positive or negative, i.e., “fate,” a meaning with which laime can be found in folk songs and tales, and in occasional modern phrases like laba laime “good luck.” In common usage, however, the meaning of laime developed from “fate” to “good, happy fate,” “happiness.” Cognates include Lithuanian láimė, Old Prussian laeims ([laims], “rich”), laimiskan (“abundant[acc.]”).
laime f (5th declension)
- (only singular) happiness (mental and emotional state denoting harmony with the internal and external worlds; the quality of one who is happy)
- vēlēt laimes — to wish happiness, success
- daudz laimes! — (I wish you) lots of happiness!
- apreibt no laimes — to be giddy with happiness
- acis paceliet uz laimes zemi — lift (your) eyes to the land of happiness
- aktrise bija kā sparnos un, laimē starodama, stājās pie darba — the actress was as if in wings, and, beaming with happiness, she started her work
- (only singular) (good) luck, (good) fortune, chance (an accidental set of favorable circumstances)
- akla laime — blind luck
- paļauties uz laimi — to rely on luck
- par laimi — fortunately, luckily (lit. by luck)
- laimes rats — the wheel of fortune
- laimes spēle — game of chance
- kāda laime, ka es tevi šovakar satiku — how lucky that I met you tonight
- redz nu, kāda tev laime: primais noķēri zivi — see how lucky you were: the first to catch a fish
- luck, fate (a traditional form of divination, typical of New Year, based on the shapes made by molten metal — lead, tin — in water)
- Jaungada laime — New Year's luck
- pēc vakariņam norunāja liet laimes, un visi pārgāja uz virtuvi; Ilzīte jau tālredzīgi bija apgādājusies ar svinu — after dinner they arranged to pour fates (i.e., molten metal into water); little Ilze, with foresight, had already supplied herself with lead
- lilac flower with more than four corollas, or shamrock with more than three petals, both believed to bring good luck
- es atradu vienu laimes zidu: astoņas lapas! — I found one lucky flower: eight petals!
- viņas iet tuvu garām lielam, samtaini mēļam ceriņkrūmam; Ieva apstājas, acīm ātri pārskrej dažus ziedu zarus: “trīspadsmit!” viņa iesaucas. “Tik daudz laimju! tādas es atradu tikai jaunībā.” — they went by a big, velvety violet lilac bush; Ieva stops, (her) eyes quickly run over several flower branches: “thirteen!” she exclaims. “So many lucky flowers! Such (= So many) I found only in my youth.”
- ^ “laime” in Konstantīns Karulis (1992, 2001), Latviešu Etimoloģijas Vārdnīca, in 2 vols, Rīga: AVOTS, ISBN: 9984-700-12-7