Traditionally related to Latvian lāse (“drop (of liquid)”) (dialectally attested as lase, lasis), perhaps because of the drop-like little spots on a salmon's scales, from Proto-Indo-European *laḱ- (“to sprinkle, to spatter”). Another suggestion is that this term comes from Proto-Indo-European *lek- (“to jump, to leap”), referring to the mating habits of salmons, swimming and leaping upstream; but the final k leaves the s in the Baltic and Slavic forms unexplained. One would have to assume parallel forms *lek-, *leḱ- for this stem. Cognates include Lithuanian lãšis, lašiša, Old Prussian lalasso (probably a misspelled lasasso), Russian лосось (losós'), Czech losos, Polish łosoś, Proto-Germanic *lahsaz (Old High German lahs, German Lachs, Swedish lax, English lax, lox), Tocharian B laksi (“fish”), Ossetian лæсæг (læsæg, “salmon”).
lasis m (2nd declension)
- salmon (especially Salmo salar)
- zvejot lašus — to fish salmon
- svaigs lasis — fresh salmon
- žāvēts lasis — dried salmon
- lašu/laša krāsa — salmon color
- ^ “lasis” in Konstantīns Karulis (1992, 2001), Latviešu Etimoloģijas Vārdnīca (Rīga: AVOTS) ISBN: 9984-700-12-7.