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cucuma f (plural cucume)

  1. kettle, cooking vessel



Since this word, as Ancient Greek κούκκουμα (koúkkouma), diminutive κουκκούμιον (koukkoúmion), is attested from the 1st century C.E., when the Roman Empire was at its greatest extent, there is little to doubt that this is identical to Classical Syriac ܩܘܿܩܡܳܐ (qūqəmā, pot), absolute state ܩܘܿܩܽܡ (qūqum), if not directly borrowed from it, from Imperial Aramaic 𐡒𐡅𐡒𐡌 (qwqm), from Akkadian 𒂁𒆪𒆪𒁍 (/⁠kukkubu, quqquba⁠/, a smaller container used as an alabastron, libation jar, or drinking flask; originally a drinking pouch made from an animal’s stomach, any similar pouch with a small opening), considered possibly a loan or developed from Sumerian 𒂁𒃻𒋫𒆸 (/⁠gugguru⁠/, tall earthen vessel with a narrow opening). Via Aramaic קוּמְקְמָא (qumqəmā, boiling kettle) it has also been borrowed into Arabic قُمْقُم (qumqum, bulbous flask with a neck used for dispersing perfume) and Middle Persian [Book Pahlavi needed] (KWKMʾ), Persian قمقمه (qomqome). The vowel length in Latin is however short in the first syllable contrary to the Syriac, likely because of coarticulation or because of secondary relation to coquō (to cook). This vowel shortening and a Syriac borrowing of a vessel name also has its parallel in the Latin word culullus denoting a kind of bumper or chalice.



cucuma f (genitive cucumae); first declension

  1. kettle, cauldron, boiling vessel
    1. for cooking
      • c. 27 CE – 66 CE, Petronius, Satyricon 135.4:
        Mox incincta quadrato pallio cucumam ingentem foco apposuit, simulque pannum de carnario detulit furca, in quo faba erat ad usum reposita et sincipitis vetustissima particula mille plagis dolata.
        After girthing herself with a rectangular apron she put a vast cauldron to the fire, and at the same time she put down a rag from the smoke chamber, in which beans were stored for use as well as a bit of a head-half cut with thousand strikes.
      • 118 – 138 π Hadrian in Dig. XXXXVIII.8.1.3 Marcianus libro quarto decimo institutionum
        Divus Hadrianus rescripsit eum, qui hominem occidit, si non occidendi animo hoc admisit, absolvi posse, et qui hominem non occidit, sed vulneravit, ut occidat, pro homicida damnandum: et ex re constituendum hoc: nam si gladium strinxerit et in eo percusserit, indubitate occidendi animo id eum admisisse: sed si clavi percussit aut cucuma in rixa, quamvis ferro percusserit, tamen non occidendi animo. leniendam poenam eius, qui in rixa casu magis quam voluntate homicidium admisit.
        Godly Hadrian wrote in a rescript concering him who smote a man that he can be absolved if this is not by intent to kill, and who did not smite him but wounded him that he smite him is to be convicted for homicide: and from the said thing has to be constituted: when he touched him with the sword and smote him by this, without doubt intent to kill him has to be admitted: but when he hit him with a key or a kettle in a brawl, though he hit him with iron, nonetheless he hasn’t done it with the intent to kill. To be lightened is the punishment of him who has allowed in a brawl rather by accident than by intent a killing.
    2. for bathing
      • c. 100 CE, Martial, Epigrammaton 10.79.3–4:
        Torquātus nitidās variō dē marmore thermās
        Extrūxit; cucumam fēcit Otācilius.
        Torquatus put forth brilliant thermae from various marble; Otacilius made a cauldron.


First-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative cucuma cucumae
Genitive cucumae cucumārum
Dative cucumae cucumīs
Accusative cucumam cucumās
Ablative cucumā cucumīs
Vocative cucuma cucumae

Derived terms[edit]


  • Catalan: cogoma
  • Venetian: cogoma

See also[edit]


  • cucuma”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • cucuma in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition with additions by D. P. Carpenterius, Adelungius and others, edited by Léopold Favre, 1883–1887)
  • cucuma in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette.
  • Ernout, Alfred, Meillet, Antoine (1985) “cucuma”, in Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue latine: histoire des mots[1] (in French), 4th edition, with additions and corrections of Jacques André, Paris: Klincksieck, published 2001, page 154
  • Rahmouni, Aicha (2015) Storytelling in Chefchaouen Northern Morocco: An Annotated Study of Oral Performance with Transliterations and Translations, Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, page 122
  • qwmqm”, in The Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon Project, Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College, 1986–
  • qwqm”, in The Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon Project, Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College, 1986–