Looking at the pefsu problems of ancient Egyptian mathematical papyri, I am wondering what does the word des mean? It is usually used together with the word jug to form des-jug, but sometimes the translations mention only the word des without the jug. Does anyone know?
Eric Peet, on page 117 of The Rhind Mathematical Papyrus offers what may be your explanation:
So it would appear that des should describe the unit of liquid volume which would fill a des-jug, and that unit is unique (or at least originally referred to) to an item of the particular design of the des-jug.
A des-jug is indeed a unit of measurement. A des jug of beer is roughly 7/8 pint (or 414ml).