Baltic nation, first independent in 1918, named for its inhabitants, Latvian Latvji, whose ancient name is of unknown origin. In English, the people name was Lett. Parts of the modern state were known previously as Livonia (from Estonian liiv "sand") and Courland (from Curonians, the name of a Lettish people, which is of unknown origin). Related: Latvian.
updated on October 10, 2017