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From a variant *spalg- of Proto-Baltic *spelg-, *spilg-, *spulg- (whence also spilgts), from Proto-Indo-European *pel-, *spel-, *spʰel- (to shine) with an extra g. The original meaning was, as that of its cognates spilgts and spulgs, “bright, shiny,” from which it metaphorically evolved into “very loud, sharp.” Cognates include Lithuanian spal̃gė, spal̃gena, spal̃genas (cranberry) (< “bright, shiny berry”) [1]



spalgs (definite spalgais, comparative spalgāks, superlative visspalgākais, adverb spalgi)

  1. (of sounds) (very) loud, sharp, shrill, piercing, strident, high-pitched
    kliegt, runāt spalgā balsīto scream, to speak in a shrill voice
    spalgs svilpiensa shrill, high-pitched whistle
    spalgs tālruņa zvansshrill telephone call
    spalga sirēnahigh-pitched sirene
    atskanēja spalgs šāviensa strident shot sounded
  2. (of pains) strong, sharp
    krūtīs kā karsta ogle iekrīt spalga sāpea sharp pain fell on his chest like a hot coal
  3. (of light, colors) sharp, bright, strong
    glezna bija pārāk spalga, krāsas pārāk asas un biezasthe painting was too bright(-colored), the colors too sharp and thick
    atnāks rīts ar spalgu saulimorning came with a sharp, bright sun
  4. (of weather, its elements) very cold, piercing cold
    spalgs aukstumspiercing cold
    spalga ziema, naktspiercing cold winter, night
    laukā ir spalgs, ass vējšoutside (there) is a cold, sharp wind
  5. (figuratively, of people, their actions) harsh, severe
    nu teic: es esot pārāk spalgs; un citiem: augstprātīgi lecīgsso say it: I am too harsh; to others, (I am) arrogantly provocative
    tā ir skaudru un spalgu politisku pamfletu virknethis is a caustic and harsh series of political pamphlets




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