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Peruke or Periwig

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Menage ingeniously derives these words from the Latin pilus (“hair”). Thus, pilus, pelus, peluʹtus, peluʹticus, peluʹtica, peruʹa, perruque. The wigs are first mentioned in the 16th century; in the next century they became very large. The fashion began to wane in the reign of George III. Periwig is a corrupt form of the French word perruque.

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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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