See also: dels and Dels


Dēls ar māti



From Proto-Baltic *dē-, from Proto-Indo-European *dʰē-, *dʰeh₁(y)- (to suckle, to nurse) (whence also Latvian dēle (leech), q.v.); the original meaning was thus “one to nurse,” “suckling one,” “baby” (cf. Latin fellāre (to nurse), filius (son) < *fēlios < *dʰeh₁(y)-li-os). Cognates include Proto-Slavic *dětę (Russian дети (deti, children)), Albanian djalë (boy, son). The term dēls replaced an earlier *sūn(u)s, the original Indo-European word for “son” (cf. Lithuanian sūnùs, English son, Russian сын (syn)). This is usually explained as the result of taboo: the ‘real’ word for “son” was avoided so as not to attract the attention of evil spirits. Note that the languages that lack a reflex of this original word (Latin, Celtic, Latvian, Albanian) also lack the corresponding word for “daughter” (cf. Lithuanian duktė̃, Russian дочь (dočʹ), German Tochter); this suggests that there may have been dialectal differences in Proto-Indo-European concerning words for children.[1]


  • IPA(key): [dæ̂ːls]
  • Audio:(file)



dēls m (1st declension)

  1. son (a male child, in relation to his parents)
    dēls ar mātia son with (his) mother
    jaunākais, vecākais dēlsyoungest, oldest son
    pašu dēls(one's) own son
    īstais dēlsreal son
    vienīgais dēlsthe only son
    brāļa, māsas dēlsnephew (lit. brother's, sister's son)
    dēls ļoti rūpējās par saviem vecākiemthe son takes great care of his parents
  2. (colloquial) son (a form of address used by an older person talking to a younger man)
    “Grobiņa tēv, vai tu domā, ka tava nauda nestāv droši?” Jānis jautāja; “... nu, dēls, par drošību, drošības dēļ nav ko runāt...”“Father (of the) Grobiņš (= Mr Grobiņš), do you think that your money is not safe?” Jānis asked; “... well, son, there is nothing to say about, about security...”
  3. (poetic) son (a member of a people, group, etc.)
    Latvijas zemes dēlsa son of the land of Latvia (= a Latvian)
    dažādu tautu dēli un meitasthe sons and daughters of various nations



See also



  1. ^ Karulis, Konstantīns (1992) “dēls”, in Latviešu Etimoloģijas Vārdnīca (in Latvian), Rīga: AVOTS, →ISBN