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From Proto-Balto-Slavic *wetuṣa-, *wetsa-, from Proto-Indo-European *wet- (year) with an extra (adjectivizing) suffix -(e)s. The original meaning was “of (the) year,” “one year old” (opposed to one born now, recently), from which “older one.” It is also possible that the stem *wet- already had the meaning “previous, earlier,” with the meaning “year” being derived (e.g., “previous, earlier lamb” > “lamb from last year”); compare the meaning relation between Ancient Greek ἕνος (hénos, old, first, former) (< *senos), δίενος (díenos, two-year-old). Cognates include Lithuanian vẽtušas, dialectal vẽčas, Old Church Slavonic ветъхъ (vetŭxŭ, old, aged, ancient), Russian ве́тхий (vétxij, old, aged), Ukrainian вітхий (vіtxyj, old, aged), Bulgarian вехт (veht), Czech vetchý, Polish wiotchy, wiotki, Gothic 𐍅𐌹𐌸𐍂𐌿𐍃 (wiþrus, one-year-old lamb), German Widder (ram), Proto-Celtic *wetsi- (Middle Irish feis, Cornish guis, both “sow that has already given birth” < “from last year”), Hittite witt- (< *wet-), Sanskrit वत्स (vatsá, year; calf), *vátas-, Ancient Greek ἔτος (étos, year), dialectal ϝέτος (wétos), Latin vetus (old, ancient).[1]


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vecs (definite vecais, comparative vecāks, superlative visvecākais, adverb (none))

  1. (of people, living beings) old (who has lived relatively long, relatively many years)
    vecajam ir gādīga tēva sirdsthe old (man) has a caring father's heart
    veca sieveteold woman
    vecā paaudzethe old generation
    vecs vilksold wolf
    vecas govisold cows
    veca liepaold lime tree
    vecs mežsold forest
  2. (with age indications in the accusative) old
    mēnesi vecs bērnsa one-month-old child
    divpadsmit gadus vecs pusaudzistwelve-year-old teenager
    Erfurte ir vairāk nekā tūkstoš gadu veca(the city of) Erfurt is more than a thousand years old
  3. old (typical of aged people; weak)
    vecas kājasold legs
    veca sirdsold heart
  4. old (who has worked long, who has much experience)
    veci zvejniekiold, experienced fishermen
    vecs kolekcionārsold collector
    vecs fotoamatierisold amateur photographer
  5. old (who has lived somewhere for a long time)
    vecs šejienietisold local, someone who has lived here long
  6. old (who has been known for a long time)
    veca paziņaold acquaintance
    veci draugiold friends
  7. old (which was founded, created, built, made long ago, which has existed, has been known for a relatively long time)
    vecs muižas centrsold manor
    vecas mājasold house
    veca pilsētaold city
    vecā pasaule, vecais kontinentsold world, old continent (Europe, Africa, Asia)
    vecs rakstāmgaldsold desk
    vecas tradīcijasold tradition
    veca mīlestībaold love
    vecs joksold joke
    veca ziņģeold popular song
    vecs dokumentsold document
  8. (of plants, crops; chiefly definite forms) old (which grew, became ripe a long time ago; which was harvested the previous year)
    vecie rudzi, kartupeļiold rye, potatoes
    uzturā izlieto jaunas saknes, vecās saknes ir negaršīgas, koksnainasin food one uses new roots, the old roots are unpalatable, woody
  9. (of objects, buildings) old (worn out, used for a long time, not suitable for further use)
    zvana tornis kapsētā bija vecs, apsūnojisthe bell tower in the cemetery was old, mossy
    veca, salāpīta vīriešu žaketeold, patched men's jacket
    saimnieks atdevis savus vecos zābakusthe landlord gave away his old boots
  10. (of food) old (which was stored for a long time ago, which is no longer fit to be eaten)
    vecs ievārījumsold jam
    veca zupaold soup
  11. (of systems) old (no longer in use, no longer valid)
    vecs kalendārsold calendar
    veca caurlaideold pass, badge
  12. (of time period; chiefly definite forms) old (already passed, already gone by; relating to past times)
    vecais gadsold year (i.e., the previous year)
    vecie laikiold times
    vecā naudaold money
    vecais valsts aparātsold state apparatus
    veci notikumiold events
  13. (chiefly definite forms) old, previous (which existed before (something else), before the current one, which was replaced by a new one)
    vecais direktorsthe old director
    upes vecā gultnethe river's old bed
    vecā adresethe old, previous address
    Vecā Derībathe Old Testament (first half of the Bible)
    vecā stila (Jūlija) kalendārsold style (Julian) calendar
    vecā ortogrāfijathe old spelling (used in Latvia before the early 20th century)
  14. (definite form, used nominally) old one (one of two spouses, mentioned by the other one; a parent, mentioned by the child; (plural) parents (syn. vecāki))
    man jau nav vaļas tā sēdēt; vecais gaida mājāI don't have the leisure to sit like that; the old one (i.e., my husband) is waiting in the house
    “kur tēvs?” “tavs vecais? sveiks un vesels...”“where (is) father?” “your old one? safe and sound...”
    tev negribējās mācīties; bet vecie piespieda un pareizi darījayou didn't want to study; but your old ones (= parents) forced you to, and that was well done
  15. (definite form, used nominally) old one, old thing (something out of date, outmoded; something which hinders new developments)
    mūžīgi ārdoša cīņa starp iegūto veco un vienmēr topošo jaunothe eternally raging battle between the stable old and the always emerging new




Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit


  1. ^ Karulis, Konstantīns (1992), “vecs”, in Latviešu Etimoloģijas Vārdnīca (in Latvian), Rīga: AVOTS, ISBN 9984-700-12-7