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Alternative forms




Uncertain and lacking agreement on the precise meaning. Possibly from Proto-Indo-European *ters- (dry), with regular simplification of *-rs- > /s/ before a voiceless consonant (compare testis). Compare pāscuum for the formation. The c in the plural is likely to be analogical after the regular /kʷum > kum/ in the singular. A connection with Proto-Indo-European *tews- (to be empty), the source of Sanskrit तुच्छ (tuccha, empty), is rejected by De Vaan, who mentions Dunkel's proposal that teskʷ- is derived by dissimilation from twes-kʷ- but points out that *twes- is not an ablaut grade of this root.[1]





tescum n (genitive tescī); second declension

  1. (chiefly in the plural) wilderness, wasteland, desert



Second-declension noun (neuter).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative tescum tesca
Genitive tescī tescōrum
Dative tescō tescīs
Accusative tescum tesca
Ablative tescō tescīs
Vocative tescum tesca


  1. ^ De Vaan, Michiel (2008) “tescum”, in Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 7), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, page 617:
    The connection with Skt. tucchyá- 'empty' is impossible, since the root has ablaut grade I *teus-. Dunkel 2000b: 21 posits *tu̯es-kʷo-, which would have yielded *teskʷo- by dissimilation of the first labial glide; but the ablaut and the meaning make a connection with *teus- difficult. Alternatively, one might think of *ters-kwo- to torreō, that is, 'arid soil' vel sim.