Palmer to Panel
Palmer A pilgrim privileged to carry a palm-staff: In Fosbroke's British Monachism we read that certain
prayers and psalms being said over the pilgrims, as they lay prostrate before the altar, they were
sprinkled with holy water, and received a consecrated palm-staff. Palmers differed from pilgrims in this
respect: a pilgrim made his pilgrimage and returned to public or private life; but a palmer spent all his
days in visiting holy shrines, and lived on charity.
His sandals were with travel tore,
Palmerin of England A romance of chivalry, in which Palmerin is the hero. There is another romance called Palmerin de Oliva. (See Southey's Palmerin.)
Palmy Days Prosperous or happy days, as those were to a victorious gladiator when he went to receive the palm branch as the reward of his prowess.
Palsy The gentlemen's palsy, ruin from gambling. (Elizabeth's reign.)
Paludamentum A distinctive mantle worn by a Roman general in the time of war. This was the scarlet
robe in which Christ was invested. (Matt. xxvii. 28.)
They flung on him an old scarlet paludamentum- some cast-off war-cloak with its purple laticlave from the Praetorian wardrobe.- Farrar: Life of Christ, chap. lx. p. 429.
Pam The knave of clubs, short for Pamphile, the French word for the knave of clubs.
Dr. Johnson's derivation of Pam from palm, because `Pam' triumphs over other cards, is extremely comic. Of course, Pam is short for Pamphile, the French name for the knave of clubs.- Notes and Queries (W. W. Skeat, 1 May, 1886), p. 358.
Pamela The title of the finest of Richardson's novels, which once enjoyed a popularity almost equal to
that of the romances of Sir Walter Scott.
Pampas Treeless plains, some 2,000 miles long and from 300 to 500 broad, in South America. They cover an area of 750,000 square miles. It is an Indian word meaning flats or plains.
Pamper according to Junius, is from the Latin pampinus, French pampre (vine-tendril). Hence Milton-
Where any rowThe Italian pamberato (well-fed) is a compound of pane (bread) and bere (drink).
Pamphlet said to be from Pamphila, a Greek lady, whose chief work is a commonplace book of anecdotes, epitomes, notes, etc. Dr. Johnson suggests par-un-filet (held by a thread)- i.e. stitched, but not bound; another derivation is paginae filatae (pages tacked together). It was anciently written panfletus, pamflete, and by Caxton paunflet.
Pamphyle (3 syl.). A sorceress who converted herself into an owl (Apuleius). There was another Pamphyle,
the daughter of Apollo, who first taught women to embroider with silk.
In one very remote village lives the sorceress Pamphyle, who turns her neighbours into various animals ... Lucius, peeping ... thro' a chink in the door [saw] the old witch transform herself into an owl.- Pater: Marius the Epicurean, chap. v.
Pan The personification of deity displayed in creation and pervading all things. As flocks and herds were the chief property of the pastoral age, Pan was called the god of flocks and herds. He is also called the god of hyle, not the woods only, but all material substances. The lower part was that of a goat,
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