PERI, s. This Persian word for a class of imaginary sprites, rendered familiar in the verses of Moore and Southey, has no blood-relationship with the English Fairy, notwithstanding the exact compliance with Grimm’s Law in the change of initial consonant. The Persian word is pari, from ‘par, ‘a feather, or wing’; therefore ‘the winged one’; [so F. Johnson, Pers. Dict.; but the derivation is very doubtful;] whilst the genealogy of fairy is apparently Ital. fata, French fée, whence féerie (‘fay-dom’) and thence fairy.

[c. 1500?—“I am the only daughter of a Jinn chief of noblest strain and my name is Peri-Banu.”—Arab. Nights, Burton, x. 264.]


“From cluster’d henna, and from orange groves,
That with such perfumes fill the breeze
As Peris to their Sister bear,
When from the summit of some lofty tree
She hangs encaged, the captive of the Dives.”

Thalaba, xi. 24.


“But nought can charm the luckless Peri.
Her soul is sad\s-\her wings are weary.”

Moore, Paradise and the Peri.

PERPET, PERPETUANO, s. The name of a cloth often mentioned in the 17th and first part of the 18th centuries, as an export from England to the East. It appears to have been a light and glossy twilled stuff of wool, [which like another stuff of the same kind called ‘Lasting,’ took its name from its durability. (See Draper’s Dict. s.v.)]. In France it was called perpétuanne or sempiterne, in Ital. perpetuana.

[1609.—“Karsies, Perpetuanos and other woollen Comodities.”—Birdwood, Letter Book, 288.

[1617.—“Perpetuano, 1 bale.”—Cocks’s Diary, Hak. Soc. i. 293.

[1630.—“… Devonshire kersies or perpetuities …”—Forrest, Bombay Letters, i. 4.

[1680.—“Perpetuances.”—Ibid. ii. 401.]

1711.—“Goods usually imported (to China) from Europe are Bullion Cloths, Clothrash Perpetuano’s, and Camblets of Scarlet, black, blew, sad and violet Colours, which are of late so lightly set by; that to bear the Dutys, and bring the prime Cost, is as much as can reasonably be hoped for.”—Lockyer, 147.

[1717.—“… a Pavilion lined with Imboss’d Perpets.”—In Yule, Hedges’ Diary, Hak. Soc. ii. ccclix.]

1754.—“Being requested by the Trustees of the Charity Stock of this place to make an humble application to you for an order that the children upon the Foundation to the number of 12 or 14 may be supplied at the expense of the Honorable Company with a coat of blue Perpets or some ordinary cloth. …”—Petition of Revd. R. Mapletoft, in Long, p. 29.

1757.—Among the presents sent to the King of Ava with the mission of Ensign Robert Lester, we find:
“2 Pieces of ordinary Red Broad Cloth. 3 Do. of Pérpetuánoes Popingay.” In Dalrymple, Or. Rep. i. 203.

PERSAIM, n.p. This is an old form of the name of Bassein (q.v.) in Pegu. It occurs (e.g.) in Milburn, ii. 281.

1759.—“The Country for 20 miles round Persaim is represented as capable of producing Rice, sufficient to supply the Coast of Choromandel from Pondicherry to Masulipatam.”—Letter in Dalrymple, Or. Rep. i. 110. Also in a Chart by Capt. G. Baker, 1754.

1795.—“Having ordered presents of a trivial nature to be presented, in return for those brought from Negrais, he referred the deputy … to the Birman Governor of Persaim for a ratification and final adjustment of the treaty.”—Symes, p. 40. But this author also uses Bassien (e.g. 32), and “Persaim or Bassien” (39), which alternatives are also in the chart by Ensign Wood.

PERSIMMON, s. This American name is applied to a fruit common in China and Japan, which in a dried state is imported largely from China into Tibet. The tree is the Diospyros kaki, L. fil., a species of the same genus which produces ebony. The word is properly the name of an American fruit and tree of the same genus (D. virginiana), also called date-plum, and, according to the Dictionary of Worcester,

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission.
See our FAQ for more details.