There are differing suggestions on the origin of this term, the most likely of which is to derive it from Proto-Indo-European *der-, *dor- (“to tear, to peel, to pluck, to slice”) (whence also dergties (“to feel disgusted”), q.v.), with an extra gʰ, from which Proto-Baltic *darg- > *dargs > dārgs (with lengthening from the intonation on -àr- > -ā̀r). The original meaning could have been “which got torn, became unpleasant” (compare Lithuanian dargùs (“disgusting, unpleasant”), Latvian derdzīgs (“hideous”)) > “unpleasantly high (price, reward)” > “expensive, having high value, valuable,” from which metaphorically “dear, beloved.” Note that the “beloved” meaning is relatively recent: it is not typical of old folkloric language. Other scholars, however, derive dārgs from Proto-Indo-European *dʰer- (“to hold, to prop, to support”). A third suggestion is that this stem is a Slavic innovation (with “dear, beloved” as the original meaning), from which it was borrowed into Baltic. Cognates include Proto-Slavic *dorgъ (“expensive, dear, beloved”) (Old Church Slavonic драгъ (dragŭ), Russian дорого́й (dorogój), Belarusian дарагі́ (darahí), Ukrainian дорогий (dorohýj), Bulgarian драг (drag), Czech drahý, Polish drogi).
- expensive, costly (having a high price, for which one must pay very much)
- pārmērīgi dārgs ― prohibitively expensive
- cik dārgs? ― how expensive (is it)? how much does it cost?
- dārgs gredzens, tērps ― expensive ring, clothes
- dārgas kažokādas, konfektes ― expensive fur, candy
- dārga laboratorijas iekārta ― expensive laboratory equipment
- smēķēt dārgus cigārus ― to smoke expensive cigars
- dārgs dzīvoklis ― expensive apartment
- expensive, costly (which takes a lot of money for its services, realization, maintenance)
- dārgs meistars, amatnieks ― expensive tradesman, artisan
- dārga dzīve ― expensive life
- dārgas izpriecas ― expensive, costly pleasures
- dear, important, valuable, precious (having great significance, high value; being difficult to find)
- pasaules tautām miers ir dārgs ― peace is dear, important to the people of the world
- katrs ūdens piliens ir dārgs ― every drop of water is dear, important
- laiks, katrs bridis, mirklis ir dārgs ― time, every moment is dear, important
- dear, cherished, precious, beloved (that about which one has strong feelings)
- dārgas atmiņas ― dear, cherished memories
- mans dārgais bērns ― my dear, beloved child
- dārgie viesi! ― dear guests!
- visdārgākais cilvēks ― most cherished, beloved person
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