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I

per se [I by itself], i.e. without compeer, pre-eminently so.

“If then your I [yes] agreement want,

I to your I [yes] must answer, ‘No.ʹ

Therefore leave off your spelling plea,

And let your I [yes] be I per se.”

i.e. let your yes be yes decidedly.


Wits Interpreter, p. 116.

Many other letters are similarly used; as, A per se. (See A-Per-Se.) Thus in Restituta Eliza is called “The E per se of all that ere hath been.” So again, “O,” signifies a crier, from “O yes! O yes!” We have “Villanies descovered by … the help of a new crier, called O per se [i.e. superior to his predecessors].” 1666.

Shakespeare, in Troilus and Cressida, i. 2, even uses the phrase “a very man per se” = A 1.

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ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Hysʹteron Protʹeron (Greek)
I
I
I.H.S
I.H.S
I.O.U
I.R.B
Iachimo [Yak-e-mo]
Iago [Yago or E-a-go]
Iambic
Ianthe
Iapetos
Iberia