From Proto-Baltic *pienas, from Proto-Indo-European *peynos, *poyHnos, from the stem *pey-, *poyH-, *pī- (“to be fat”) (perhaps from earlier “to swell”). The meaning evolved from “fat, swollen” to “(breasts) full of milk” and finally “milk.” This word has been borrowed from some Baltic dialect into Baltic Finnic (cf. Estonian piim (“milk”), Finnish piimä (“cultured milk”)). There was an old Proto-Baltic verb pīti (“to give milk”), from which Lithuanian dialectal pýti (“to give milk”); the corresponding Latvian term disappeared, perhaps because of homophony with pīt (“to braid, to weave”). Cognates include Lithuanian píenas (“milk”), Sanskrit पयते (páyate, “to swell, to be too full”), पयस् (páyas, “fluid, water, milk, rain”), Avestan [script?] (pipyūši-, “having milk in her breasts”), Persian پینو (pīnū, “butter-milk”), Latin opīmus (“fat, plump; fruitful”).
piens m (1st declension)
- milk (nourishing liquid secreted by mammal females)
- mātes piens, krūts piens — mother's milk, breast milk
- piena dziedzeri — mammary (lit. milk) glands
- govs, kazas, ķēves piens — cow's, goat's, horse's milk
- piena ēdieni, produkti — dairy foods, products
- piena kokteilis — milk shake (lit. milk cocktail)
- piena saldējums — ice-cream (lit. frozen milk)
- kafija ar pienu — coffee with milk
- pasterizēts piens — pasteurized milk
- kondensēts piens — condensed milk
- ^ “piens” in Konstantīns Karulis (1992, 2001), Latviešu Etimoloģijas Vārdnīca (Rīga: AVOTS) ISBN: 9984-700-12-7.
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