Presumably from earlier *latuvis or *latavis, apparently from a proper name *Latuva or *Latava, applying to some region or river (cf. similar river names in Lithuania: Latavà, Latuvà, also Lãtupis. The initial element Lat-, also found in latgalis (“Latgalian”), may itself have come from an old river name *Lata, perhaps from Proto-Baltic *lat-, from Proto-Indo-European *lat-, *let-, *lot- (“to flow”), reflected in Old Irish laith (“liquid; ale, liquor”) (< *lati), lathach (“silt, mud”) (< *latàkā), Old Norse leþja (“clay; dregs, sludge”), Old High German letto (“clay”), and perhaps Ancient Greek λάταξ (látax, “drop”). There are other river and lake names in Europe with a possibly related element lat-, let- in them (Letes, Late, Latupi, Lator patak, Latorica, Lataná). The term latvis, mentioned since the 17th century, was in principle replaced by latvietis already in the 19th century, but was reintroduced into the standard language from poetry. Cognates include Lithuanian lãtvis, Russian латыш (latyš), Polish Łotysz, German Lette, English Lett, Estonian läti, Finnish lätti.
latvis m (2nd declension, feminine form: latve)
- a (male) Latvian, a Lett; a member of the Latvian ethnic group
- (genitive plural): Latvian, pertaining to Latvia and its people
- latvju dainas ― Latvian folk songs
- latvju zeme ― the Latvian land
- latvju strēlnieki ― Latvian riflemen
|singular (vienaskaita)||plural (daugiskaita)|