zirgs on Latvian Wikipedia


There are diverging opinions on the origin of this word. The one most likely to be true connects zirgs to the adjective žirgts ‎(brisk, lively, alert) (q.v.) from the (no longer in usage) verb žirgt ‎(to liven up, to freshen up). The original meaning would therefore have been “brisk, agile (animal),” from which “fast runner” and then “horse” (probably via “stallion,” a meaning still attested dialectally for the Lithuanian cognate). Others links zirgs to Latin grex ‎(herd, flock), or to Lithuanian žir̃gti, žer̃gti ‎(to sit astraddle, to sit; to spread one's legs; to walk with one's legs raised high), or perhaps to Lithuanian žer̃ti ‎(to scrape, to scratch; (of horse) to paw), Armenian ձար ‎(jar, mane), or to Old Norse građr ‎(not castrated). Cognates include Lithuanian žìrgas ‎(good, beautiful horse; steed), Old Prussian sirgis ‎([zirgis], stallion), Sudovian zirgo ‎(horse).[1]


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zirgs m (1st declension)

  1. horse (esp. Equus caballus; generic word)
    šķirnes zirgs‎ ― breed horse
    darba zirgs‎ ― work horse
    sacīkšu zirgs‎ ― race horse
    neiebraukts zirgs‎ ― a horse that has not been run in
    braukt ar zirgu‎ ― to ride (on) a horse
    zirgs rikšo, auļo‎ ― the horse trots, gallops
    zirgs zviedz‎ ― the horse neighs
    apkalt zirgu‎ ― to shoe a horse
    dzirdīt zirgus pie akas‎ ― to make the horses drink at the well
    jūgt zirgu arklā‎ ― to harness a horse to a plow
    strādā kā zirgs‎ ― (s/he) works like a horse


Derived termsEdit

See alsoEdit


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