See also: láime and laimē


Alternative formsEdit


From the same Proto-Indo-European stem as the verb laist (to let, to allow) (q.v.): *laid-mē > laime. The verb laist can also mean “to give, to grant,” which would suggest for laime the original meaning of “given, granted (thing),” which could be either positive or negative, i.e., “fate,” a meaning with which laime can be found in folk songs and tales, and in occasional modern phrases like laba laime “good luck.” In common usage, however, the meaning of laime developed from “fate” to “good, happy fate,” “happiness.” Cognates include Lithuanian láimė, Old Prussian laeims ([laims], rich), laimiskan (abundant[acc.]).[1]




laime f (5th declension)

  1. (only singular) happiness (mental and emotional state denoting harmony with the internal and external worlds; the quality of one who is happy)
    vēlēt laimesto wish happiness, success
    daudz laimes!(I wish you) lots of happiness!
    apreibt no laimesto be giddy with happiness
    acis paceliet uz laimes zemilift (your) eyes to the land of happiness
    aktrise bija kā sparnos un, laimē starodama, stājās pie darbathe actress was as if in wings, and, beaming with happiness, she started her work
  2. (only singular) (good) luck, (good) fortune, chance (an accidental set of favorable circumstances)
    akla laimeblind luck
    paļauties uz laimito rely on luck
    par laimifortunately, luckily (lit. by luck)
    laimes ratsthe wheel of fortune
    laimes spēlegame of chance
    kāda laime, ka es tevi šovakar satikuhow lucky that I met you tonight
    redz nu, kāda tev laime: primais noķēri zivisee how lucky you were: the first to catch a fish
  3. luck, fate (a traditional form of divination, typical of New Year, based on the shapes made by molten metallead, tin — in water)
    Jaungada laimeNew Year's luck
    pēc vakariņam norunāja liet laimes, un visi pārgāja uz virtuvi; Ilzīte jau tālredzīgi bija apgādājusies ar svinuafter dinner they arranged to pour fates (i.e., molten metal into water); little Ilze, with foresight, had already supplied herself with lead
  4. lilac flower with more than four corollas, or shamrock with more than three petals, both believed to bring good luck
    es atradu vienu laimes zidu: astoņas lapas!I found one lucky flower: eight petals!
    viņas iet tuvu garām lielam, samtaini mēļam ceriņkrūmam; Ieva apstājas, acīm ātri pārskrej dažus ziedu zarus: “trīspadsmit!” viņa iesaucas. “Tik daudz laimju! tādas es atradu tikai jaunībā.”they went by a big, velvety violet lilac bush; Ieva stops, (her) eyes quickly run over several flower branches: “thirteen!” she exclaims. “So many lucky flowers! Such (= So many) I found only in my youth.”




Derived termsEdit


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