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 (def. spalgais, comp. spalgāks, sup. visspalgākais; adv. spalgi)

  1. (of sounds) (very) loud, sharp, shrill, piercing, strident, high-pitched
    kliegt, runāt spalgā balsī‎ ― to scream, to speak in a shrill voice
    spalgs svilpiens‎ ― a shrill, high-pitched whistle
    spalgs tālruņa zvans‎ ― shrill telephone call
    spalga sirēna‎ ― high-pitched sirene
    atskanēja spalgs šāviens‎ ― a strident shot sounded
  2. (of pains) strong, sharp
    krūtīs kā karsta ogle iekrīt spalga sāpe‎ ― a 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 biezas‎ ― the painting was too bright(-colored), the colors too sharp and thick
    atnāks rīts ar spalgu sauli‎ ― morning came with a sharp, bright sun
  4. (of weather, its elements) very cold, piercing cold
    spalgs aukstums‎ ― piercing cold
    spalga ziema, nakts‎ ― piercing cold winter, night
    laukā ir spalgs, ass vējš‎ ― outside (there) is a cold, sharp wind
  5. (figuratively, of people, their actions) harsh, severe
    nu teic: es esot pārāk spalgs; un citiem: augstprātīgi lecīgs‎ ― so say it: I am too harsh; to others, (I am) arrogantly provocative
    tā ir skaudru un spalgu politisku pamfletu virkne‎ ― this 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 9984-700-12-7