Essential Latvian Slang Words & Phrases To Unlock Culture

Last updated on February 8th, 2024 at 08:33 am

Want to travel to Latvia and connect easily and faster with the locals? Learning the most commonly used Latvian slang words and phrases can significantly improve your chances of being involved in the community immediately.

Slang is often an integral part of informal conversations in various languages. Latvian slang words and phrases are weird expressions and sayings, helpful in all kinds of casual situations. Whether an experienced or a beginner or Latvian speaker, you want to improve your mastery of Latvian slang!

“Slang” refers to informal words that are usually not found in dictionaries. Well! Many of these slang terms have multiple meanings, so you must understand and pay close attention to the context of the conversation to use them correctly. It makes it a good idea to practice your Latvian slang with friends before using Latvian slang with strangers!

Famous Latvian Slang Words

When learning Latvian, or any other language, it’s important to understand the culture and how people use their language colloquially. So, here’s a comprehensive list of slang words (with their meanings), including those that can be used in daily conversation!

Latvian Slang WordsEnglish MeaningsExplanation
maizeBreadIt is a staple food in Latvia that holds cultural significance beyond its literal meaning. It symbolizes sustenance, nourishment, and the essential role of agriculture in Latvian culture.
Arthur
beer belly or potbell
It refers to someone who has a prominent belly, similar to the character Arthur in the TV show “King of Queens.”
Jūs (Latin word)Right or
Got it
“Jūs” is a Latin word meaning “you” or “your” in English. Now it’s used informally to express agreement or acknowledgment.
Chill/ chill outCalm downColloquial phrase used to encourage someone to relax or remain calm in a given situation
WastedIntoxicatedCommonly used to describe someone who is under the influence of alcohol.

Note: we have not included any extremely vulgar or inappropriate slang words in the list.

Latvian Slang Words And Phrases For Daily Speaking

Here are the new and some old Latvian slang words and phrases and their meanings below.

Latvian Slang Words and PhrasesSlangs In EnglishLiteral Meanings
DīvānsCouch potatoA lazy person
ChillChill Relaxed or calm
BumbaBomb Really good
DinamītsDynamitegreat, awesome
StilīgsCheesycheap, outdated
Balīšu zvērsParty animalOne who loves parties
AtpūstiesHang outspend time together in a place frequently
NokaitinātsPissed offextremely annoyed
Ej bekotGo pick mushroomsLeave me alone
AtpūstiesHang outTo spend time with others
ParādītiesShow upArrive at an event
Pūst pīlītesTo blow ducks. – Literal translationTo talk nonsense or to lie.
Tu esi zīmulis./ ZīmētiesYou are a pencil. /To drawYou are a show-off. /To flaunt
Cūka ārāPig outTo eat a lot  
Salaist grīstēScrew upTo make a mistake
Tas iesūcāsIt suckedIt was bad/poor quality. 
AtvieglotiesLighten upRelax
BezmaksasFreebieSomething free
IzvilkšanaRip-offA very overpriced purchase
Īsā laikāIn no timeVery soon.
Kas notiek?What’s up?Hey, what are you doing?
Mana vainaMy badMy mistake
Ak mans Dievs!Oh my God!(Used to describe excitement or surprise)
Nekas sevišķšNo big dealIt’s not a problem.
PūāIn the Pooin a lot of trouble
IestrēdzisJammed Upfull of food or drink
Gaļas vagonsMeat Wagonambulance
TvaikiVaporsa sickness or fainting spell
VankersWankeridiot
YeasterYeasterbeer drinker
LitLitWhen something is perfect, enjoyable, or exciting, you can say it’s “lit.”
Galviņa/ grāvis.Bail/ ditch.Bail and ditch both mean to have to break or cancel the plans with someone
Nelec augstāk par savu dirsuDon’t jump above your own assdon’t overestimate yourself
Ne pisējs, ne karognesējsNeither a fucker, nor a flagbearera shitty quality man or a man who can’t commit

King Of Latvian Slang Word

While preparing to write the article, I read about “forši,” the king of Latvian slang. Today, its meaning is roughly the same as the English term “cool.”

The word “forši” was introduced into Latvian in the late 19th century. It comes from the German “Forsch” slang. This German word is also called slang, probably because it is the German version of the French word “force” with a similar meaning in the English language. Therefore, when it appears in Latvian, it is used to mean “brave,” “brisk,” “powerful,” “excellent,” “forcefully,” or splendidly.

Say Latvian Slang Like A Native

Remembering these Latvian slang words and phrases and their meanings will bring you closer to the locals and their pronunciation. Young people mostly use slang. So, you must be careful when using them, especially when talking to elderly or middle-aged Latvians.

It is impossible to learn Latvian essential words and phrases and other language structures only with textbooks! Listening to local speakers and understanding social references is key to making these slang words and phrases sound natural. You can also listen to these words in Latvian music, movies, and TV for better understanding. Don’t forget to imitate what you hear! In addition, Latvian videos are an exceptional choice for building Latvian language vocabulary.

Master Yourself In Latvian With The Ling App

We hope to find all the translations you need for Latvian slang words when we get to this part of the post. Also, to expand your vocabulary in this language or 60+ foreign languages, we highly recommend that you check out the Ling app.

The Ling app is a free language learning app that guarantees you to transition from a beginner to a confident speaker. It is suitable for travelers and language enthusiasts and provides you with all the information you require about learning Latvian.

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One Response

  1. Good blog! Thanks! Still want to know what a couple of words mean that my wonderful mother-in-law,(including best pirag-maker),used to say when something or a situation was either wonderful or awful. In English I would spell it as ‘vie foosh !’ or ‘vy foosh !’ Anyone know? Maybe ask some very elderly folk. Would be 105 now if alive-bless her soul!

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