From Proto-Baltic *mil-, *mul- (with an extra -k), from Proto-Indo-European *mel-, *ml̥- (“to push, to crush, to grate, to grind”) (whence also malt (“to grind, to mill”), q.v.). The semantic evolution was probably “to grind” > “to get lost” (via a comparison between grinding movements and the aimless motion of someone who got lost; see the etymology of maldināt (“to mislead, to deceive”)) > “to be confused, bewildered” > (nominalized) “confused person” > “stupid person.” Cognates include Lithuanian mùlkis, Sanskrit मल्वः (malváḥ, “stupid, foolish, unwise”), Ancient Greek βλᾱ́ξ (blā́ks, “coward; stubborn; stupid”) (< *mlāk-). A related word is Russian молчать (molčát’, “to be silent”) (< *mъlkēti).
muļķis m (2nd declension, feminine form: muļķe)
- (male) fool, stupid man (man with little intelligence)
- uzskatīt, turēt kādu par muļķi — to consider someone a fool
- zvejot prot katrs muļķis; nodot zivis, tā ir māksla — any fool can catch fish; to deliver the fish, now that is an art
- muļķis! viņš savā stulbumā bija iznīcinājis manu pašu labāko foreļu vietu — fool! he in his stupidity had destroyed my own best trout (catching) place