Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > I

 I.I.H.S. 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
I
 
per se [I by itself], i.e. without compeer, pre-eminently so.   1
       
“If then your I [yes] agreement want,
I to your I [yes] must answer, ‘No.’
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.   2
   Shakespeare, in Troilus and Cressida, i. 2, even uses the phrase “a very man per se” = A 1.   3
 


 I.I.H.S. 

 
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