From Proto-Baltic; compare Lithuanian opšrùs, Old Prussian wobsdus. The source may be Proto-Indo-European *op- (“to do, carry out”), from which Latvian regionalism āpēties (“work hard”) (compare Sanskrit अपः (ápaḥ, “work, organizing”), Latin opus (“work, task”)). This name would be justified by the badger's well-made burrows. A parallel case is German Dachs (“badger”) from Proto-Indo-European *tek- (“weave, build”).
āpsis m (2nd declension)
- badger (name of several species of mustelids, especially Meles meles)
- āpša āda ― badger skin
- āpšu alas ― badger burrow
- dzīvot kā āpsim alā ― to live like a badger in his burrow (= without paying attention to the lives of others)