Poult a young turkey. Pullet, a young chicken. (Latin, pullus, the young of any animal, whence poultry, young domestic fowls; filly, a young horse. foal; French, poule; Italian, pollo, etc.)
Pound The unit of weight (Latin, pondus, weight); also cash to the value of twenty shillings sterling, because in the Carlovingian period the Roman pound (twelve ounces) of pure silver was coined into 240 silver pennies. The symbols £ and lb. are for libra, the Latin for a pound. (See Penny for Pound.)
Pound of Flesh The whole bargain, the exact terms of the agreement, the bond literatim et verbatim. The allusion is to Shylock, in The Merchant of Venice, who bargained with Antonio for a pound of flesh, but was foiled in his suit by Portia, who said the bond was expressly a pound of flesh, and therefore (1) the Jew must cut the exact quantity, neither more nor less than a just pound; and (2) in so doing he must not shed a drop of blood.
Poundtext (Peter). An indulged pastor with the Covenanters' army. (Sir Walter Scott: Old Mortality.)
Pourceaugnac (Monsieur de) (pron. Poor-sone-yak). A pompous country gentleman who comes to Paris to marry Julie, but the lady has a lover of her own choice, and Monsieur is so mystified and played upon by Julie and her ami du coeur that he relinquishes his suit in despair. (Molière: Pourceaugnac.)
Poussin The British Poussin. Richard Cooper, painter and engraver, well known for his Views of Windsor.
Pouting Place of Princes (The). Leicester Square is so called by Pennant, because George II., when Prince of Wales, having quarrelled with his father, retired to Leicester House; and his son Frederick, Prince of Wales, did the same, for the very same reason.
Poverty ... Love When poverty comes in at the door, love flies out at the window. Sine Cerere et Baccho friget Venus.
Lo! in powdur [dust] ye schall slepe,Not worth powder and shot. Le jeu ne vaut pas la chandelle. The thing shot won't pay the cost of powder and shot.
Poyning's Law or Statute of Drogheda (pron. Drohe-dah). An Act of Parliament made in Ireland in 1495 (10 Henry VII., chap. 22), declaring all general statutes hitherto made in England to be in force in Ireland also. It received its name from Sir Edward Poyning, Lieutenant of Ireland at the time.
P.P., Clerk of this Parish The name given to a volume of memoirs, written by Dr. Arbuthnot, as a satire on Bishop Burnet's Own Times.
Praemunire A barbarous word from the Latin præmoneri (to be forewarned). The words of the writ begin Præmunire facias A.B.- i.e. Cause A.B. to be forewarned, to appear before us to answer the contempt wherewith he stands charged. If A.B. refuses to do so, he loses all civil rights, and before the reign of Elizabeth might have been slain by anyone with impunity.
Pragmatic Sanction Sanctio in Latin means a decree or ordinance with a penalty attached, or, in
other words, a penal statute. Pragmaticus means relating to state affairs, so that Pragmatic Sanction
is a penal statute bearing on some important question of state. The term was first applied by the Romans
to those statutes which related to their provinces. The French applied the phrase to certain statutes
which limited the jurisdiction of the Pope; but generally it is applied to an ordinance, fixing the succession
in a certain line.
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