[Software @-] Language observatoire

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Words that are perceived as funny or have a skewed meaning in Latvian

"Baltazars" (Balthasar). While in the Babylonian origin its meaning was "Baal protect the king", in Latvian "balts" means 'white' and "azars" in the East Latvian dialect means 'lake'. Hence, Baltazars - white lake.

"Koks" can mean (1) if pronounced [kokks]) 'coccus' and (2) if pronounced [kuoks]), 'tree'.

"Bāriņš" can mean a 'little bar', a 'little orphan', maybe also a little bar (physical measurement unit of pressure of gas or liquid). "Bars" is a 'bunch of animals', also 'bunch of people'.

"Bum!" and "bums!" means 'boom!' or 'bang', and doesn't have the English meanings of 'a bum' or 'to bum'.

"Maks" is normally a 'wallet', 'purse', 'porte-monnaie', but it is also a colloquial word for 'Mac computer'.

"Stīvs" means 'stiff', 'rigid' (including in expressions like 'rigid attitude'), but it is also the proper Latvian rendering of the first name Steve.

"Ko blenz?" means 'why are you staring?'; it coincides with a non-Latvian trademark "Koblenz".

"Vista" which is found in some English and Spanish trademark names, is the Latvian word for chicken or hen.

"Laiks" is pronounced quite the same as the English "likes", however its meanings are 'time' and 'weather'.

1 Comments:

  • Another one: "superslims" (in English - very thin cigarettes) in Latvian means terribly sick/unwell. Get superslims!...?...

    By Anonymous velis, at May 10, 2006 9:41 pm  

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