Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V21, Page 281 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PERUKE, an artificial head of hair, a wig. The word is from Fr. perruque, an adaptation of Ital. perruca or parrucca. This is usually taken to be from Ital. pelo, hair; Lat. piles. Span. peluca, wig, and Sardinian pilucca, lock or tuft of hair, support this view. In the 17th century the English forms which the French word took, such as perruck or perug, were corrupted into perwyke, and thence into perewyk, perewig, and lastly " periwig," which again was shortened into " wig," the common term for all types of artificial heads of hair. Periwig is sometimes confined to the heavy full-bottomed wigs worn from the reign of Charles II. to the introduction of the light, tailed wig of the 18th century.
End of Article: PERUKE

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