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See also: terço



Attested from the fifteenth century, probably cognate with Italian tirchio and Catalan enterch (stiff, rigid). Several farther etymologies have been suggested[1]: a shared proto-Romance word from Proto-Celtic *terkos (scarce, meagre), compare Irish tearc (meagre) and Welsh taerc); a derivation from Italian pirchio (stingy, dialectal) +‎ tirato (avaricious)[2]; or, reversing the usual derivation, from (rare) entercar (whence entercarse), syncopated from (rare, 16th. c) *enternegar, from Latin internecō (I slaughter); or from Latin tricae (trivia), via a verb derived in Vulgar Latin. As the word has no mediaeval attestation, a southern European borrowing from dialectal Italian may be most likely; of the proto-Romance theories, derivation from internecō is phonetically the easiest.


  • IPA(key): /ˈterko/, [ˈt̪erko]


terco (feminine singular terca, masculine plural tercos, feminine plural tercas)

  1. stubborn, obstinate
    Synonyms: obstinado, porfiado, testarudo

Derived terms[edit]


  1. ^ Steven N. Dworkin (2012) A History of the Spanish Lexicon: A Linguistic Perspective, pages 35-6
  2. ^ Dizionario Garzanti Italiano, Garzanti Libri, 1998

Further reading[edit]