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P Band

The P band is the frequency band from 225 to 390 mhz employed in radar.

P-80 Systems

P-80 systems are an American bulletin board (BBS) and CD-ROM supplier

specialising in pirated computer software (warez) for the PC and also

information on computer hacking, phreaking and other illegal activities.


A pacemaker is an electronic device that stimulates the heart muscles by

delivery small electric shocks to it.


a pack was a British measurement for wool and flax equal to 240 or 480 lbs.


see "Nickel Silver"


In the sense of communications, a packet is a structured group of binary digits

in a prearranged sequence containing synchronism, address, control an

error-checking data. Specialised synonym for a 'block' of data in CCITT Packet

Data Network standards.

Packet Switched Network

A Packet Switched Network is a network dedicated to the routing and delivery of

data put in the form of standardised 'packets.'

Packet Switching

Packet Switching is the technique in which a stream of data is broken into

standardised units called 'packets,' each of which contains address, sequence,

control, size and error checking information in addition to the user data.

Specialised packet switches operate on this added information to move the

packets to their destination in the proper sequence and again present them in a

contiguous stream.


PageMaker is a very popular, easy to use, WYSIWYG desktop publisher that allows

the design, layout, and production of typeset-quality documents on the

Macintosh and PC running Windows. The product, one of the first desktop

publishers for the Macintosh, provides a comprehensive set of tools for

integrating text and graphics from virtually any Macintosh application into a

professional-looking document. Nearly identical to PageMaker for the PC, this

program offers user-defined style sheets, automatic text flow through a

document, and 20 design templates. Rather than using a grid approach, PageMaker

works like a paste-up board on which to define the placement of elements

on-screen after defining the number of columns the document will have.

PageMaker has a wide range of uses, from the occasional quick memo and graphics

based publication, to a complex, content-oriented document with graphics (it

was used to typeset the magazine Here's Health during the early 1990s). It is

ideal for an environment using both PCs and Macs because a version is available

for each machine and files can be transferred between the two environments.

When PageMaker, is run a blank page is seen on-screen. Text and graphics can be

imported using a place command to position the material as it is to appear on

the printed output. The product retains formatting from word processing files

such as tabs, type styles, justification, and proportional spacing. PageMaker

has a built-in text editor which can also act as a basic word processor.

Changes made in PageMaker are automatically reflected in the word processing

document. The program automatically flows text throughout the document and

wraps text around graphics. Its editing features control text size, style,

typeface, multiple columns, and automatic hyphenation. Imported graphics can be

sized, scaled, and cropped on-screen. Rules and line styles help to position

graphic images and text, and allow easy creation of boxed text, headlines, and


es. Ruler guides control layout and column guides assist in the actual

placement and margins of graphics and text. PageMaker allows the creation of

style sheets. Users can see and work with multiple views of a page layout or

two pages at once so that a double-page spread can be designed.


Pahari is a language with a number of different dialects spoken from the Punjab

to Nepal along the southern spurs of the Himalayas.

Pai Gow

Pai Gow is a gambing game played with Chinese dominoes. The set consists of all

pairs of numbers from 1-1 to 6-6, with the following eleven tiles duplicated:

6-6, 6-5, 6-4, 6-1, 5-5, 5-1, 4-4, 3-3, 3-1, 2-2, 1-1. There are 32 tiles in


Pai Gow Poker

Pai Gow Poker is a poker variation based on the Chinese Domino game Pai Gow. It

can be played by up to seven players. A pack of 52 cards plus one joker is

used. The joker is a wild card which can be used only as an ace, or to complete

a straight, a flush or a straight flush. On each deal the dealer plays against

the other players. Before the deal, each of the other players puts up a stake.

Painter's Colic

see "Devonshire Colic"


The Palaeocene was the thirteenth geological period, 80,000,000 years ago.


Palaeography is the study of ancient manuscripts written on papyrus, parchment

or similar material, as distinct from epigraphy which is the study of ancient

inscriptions incised on hard materials such as wood, stone or metal.


Palaeontology is a branch of biology and geology which deals with fossils. It

is divided into palaeozoology and palaeobotany, which respectively have animals

and plants as their subject matters.


Pali is an old language related to Sanskrit, in which the Buddhist classical

literature was written.


A palindrome is a word, phrase or sentence the letters of which read the same

left to right as right to left, such as 'was it a cat I saw'.


Palladium is a rare grey-white metal element with the symbol Pd. It has the

power of absorbing a very large amount of hydrogen to which it is permeable

when heated. It is used in an alloy with gold in dentistry and jewellery. In

its pure form it is used for making watch springs and mirrors.


Pallas is the second largest asteroid and the second to be discovered. It was

first observed by the German astronomer Heinrich Olbers in 1802. It is about

480 km in diameter, and orbits about the sun in 1684 days.

Palm Kernel Oil

Palm kernel oil is a fatty oil obtained from the kernels of the palm fruit and

used in the manufacture of soap and margarine.

Palm Oil

Palm oil is a fatty oil obtained from the pericarp of the palm fruit and used

in the manufacture of soap and edible fat.

Palmitic Acid

Palmitic acid is a widely distributed naturally occurring fatty acid with the

formula C16H32O2.


The pampas are natural grasslands of South America.


A pancratium is an athletic contest in wrestling and boxing.


Pandoeren is a trick-taking card game for four players. It used to be popular

in the Netherlands, but nowadays few people play it.


Panthenol (Pro vitamin B5) is the alcohol analogue of pantothenic acid. Whilst

its vitamin properties are not proven in cosmetics and toiletries, it does have

pronounced moisturising properties and gives and excellent 'skin feel' to

products containing it.


Panthenol is a vitamin B-complex derivative used as a moisturiser and hair

conditioner in cosmetics.

Pantothenic acid

Pantothenic acid is a hydroxy acid found in plant and animal tissues that is

one of the vitamin B complex of substances and is used for cell growth.


A pantoum is a Malay verse consisting of an indefinite number of quatrains with

the second and fourth lines of each quatrain repeated as the first and third

lines of the following one.

Papagayo Winds

see "Tehuantepec winds"


Papain is a substance found in the juice of papaw. It has an identical action

to Trypsin.


Para-cresol is a cresol found in bad eggs.


Paradichlorobenzene is a white crystalline, volatile substance which is

insoluble in water of the benzene series. It has a penetrating odour and is

used chiefly as a moth repellent.


Paradox 3.0 is a relational database manager from Borland International, that

strikes a balance between functionality and ease of use. It offers the power of

many of the advanced database products, yet is easy enough for the novice to

use. It includes enhanced relational operations, presentation-quality graphics,

crosstab views, and enhanced query-by-example operators. Paradox appeals to a

wide range of users because it has menus as well as a programming language. The

menus, which resemble the Lotus 1-2-3 interface, provide advanced capabilities

to the beginning user, while the command language, Paradox Application Language

(PAL), allows sophisticated users to create complex turnkey systems and custom

applications. PAL provides all the functions of competitive database

programming languages. For those who use PAL to develop applications, Paradox

also includes an application generator that creates PAL code which can be

edited. Paradox employs the artificial intelligence technique,

query-by-example, to let users make multiple-file queries and database

manipulations by giving an example of the kind of data wanted. Paradox also

uses artificial intelligence to speed queries by searching for the best path.

Any index which Paradox creates to answer a question will be used to answer a

later query when appropriate. Paradox's multiforms capability lets you display

records from multiple tables within a form and create forms with scrolling

regions without any programming. Paradox supports a multitable feature in its

reporting capabilities. The most visual feature is the ability to create

presentation-quality colour graphics such as pie charts, line, bar, and XY

graphs. An automatic lookup function lets you fill entire records just by

filling in one field only. This feature is excellent for creating invoices that

automatically enter customer information on the invoice based on the entry of a

customer number. As long as two files have a common field, information can be


tween them. This feature lets you have small manageable files instead of files

that are cumbersome and difficult to work with. When searching for specific

information, simply check off the fields wanted to see in the answer table.


Paraffin is a family of hydrocarbons.


The term parallax describes the apparent movement of an object when viewed from

two different positions.

Parallel Transmission

Parallel Transmission is the simultaneous transmission of all parts of a signal

at one time; in data transmission, requiring a separate signal path for each of

the bits of a character; internal to computers, this is called a 'parallel bus.'


Parchment is a type of fine writing paper traditionally made from sheep or goat



see "Methaqualone"


In communications systems and computers, parity is a constant state of

equality; one of the oldest and simplest methods of error checking data

transmission. Characters are forced into parity (total number of marking bits

odd or even as selected by choice) by adding a one or zero bit as appropriate

when transmitted; parity is then checked as odd or even at the receiver.

Parity Bit

A Parity Bit is a check bit appended to an array of binary digits to make the

sum of all the digits always odd or always even.

Parity Check

Parity Check is a checking method that determines if the sum of all the digits

in an array is odd or even.


see "Sevens"


A parsec is an astronomical unit of distance equivalent to 3.2616 light years.


see "Avobenzone"


Pascal is an Algol-descended computer programming language designed by Niklaus

Wirth on the CDC 6600 around 1967 as an instructional tool for elementary

programming. The language, designed primarily to keep students from shooting

themselves in the foot and thus extremely restrictive from a

general-purpose-programming point of view, was later promoted as a

general-purpose tool and, in fact, became the ancestor of a large family of

languages including Modula-2 and Ada.


Paskahousu is a Finnish card game for three or more players, played with a

standard 52-card deck.


Pasteurisation is a preservative heat treatment applied to foods, notably milk.


see "Olopatadine hydrochloride"


Patten is another name for a clog.

PC Paintbrush

PC Paintbrush by ZSoft is a good drawing program that supports high resolution

VGA graphics. It is a full-featured colour-painting program that lets you

create and edit freehand illustrations at the pixel level. It supports a wide

range of popular scanners allowing scanned images to be imported and edited in

black and white, 16 shades of gray, or in colour. Painting elements include

boxes, circles, rounded boxes, curves, lines, and text. All of the objects can

be sized and filled. The standard painting tools such as a paintbrush, paint

roller, eraser, and spray can are available as well as more unique tools such

as a colour eraser which lets you erase a single colour in a defined area. When

linked to a scanner, a special menu is available that lets you select items to

adjust your scanner capabilities. This program lets you paint, scan, and edit

images at 300 dpi in colour or with 16 levels of gray. Images can be scanned in

and resized without losing picture qualify. PostScript output devices are



PC/Focus by Information Builders, Inc. is a complete, fourth-generation

language database and informafionmanagement system for personal computers. Its

design, function, and capabilities are identical to its big brother Focus, one

of the leading information centre products for IBM or compatible mainframes.

Code that is written for one version is easily transported to the another.

Since mainframe Focus and PC/Focus share a common language, PC/Focus can be

used to prototype mainframe Focus applications. This method is much less

time-consuming frees up valuable mainframe resources. PC/Focus supports a

menu-driven user interface based on Information Builders Talk Technology which

accesses most PC/Focus commands from a menu. The PC/Focus Windows facility lets

you incorporate the programs menu interface into customised applications. The

scripting or macro language lets programmers store communications procedures

that can automatically execute dial-up sequences for accessing remote systems.

A screen painter and report generator make it much easier to design your

applications. Database maintenance procedures can be automated by using

ModifyTalk which generates procedures based on answers that you give to a

series of questions concerning the fields you want to modify. The product

supports a SQL Translator which enables the user to type SQL requests against a

mainframe Focus database.


pcANYWHERE III is a menu-driven remote control program for IBM PC-compatibles

that allows the user to control and/or monitor one PC from another over a

communications link. Suitable for support purposes and typically used with

standard dial-up modems, pcANYWHERE III connects two PCs so their screens and

keyboards are linked as one. Whatever the remote user sees on-screen is also

seen on the local screen. pCANYWHERE III includes both host and remote portions

necessary for remote connection of two PCs, and is useful for remote connection

into networking environments such as Novell NetWare. The package includes a

chat mode and call logging feature, and supports programs that require CCA,

EGA, MCGA, VGA, and Hercules Graphics. On the remote PC, pcANYWHERE III runs

underneath other applications as a RAM resident program, occupying only 45K of

RAM. The local portion runs as a primary task on a PC. The local PC supports

any number of remote users and can he programmed with the appropriate telephone

numbers and passwords so users can be called by selecting them from a pop-up

directory window. The remote computer can be programmed to automatically call

the support computer.


Pcopy by Patri-Soft is an extension to the DOS computer operating system. Even

with DOS 6.0, the DOS copy command can be dangerous to use and has limited

options. Pcopy provides abundant options including: Multiple output disks, fill

disks efficiently, split files across disks, select files by date/time/size and

update/merge directories. Pcopy includes a special *DISK*.* type wildcard.

Pcopy provides a facility to scan/make directories, prevent accidental file

overlays. Pcopy includes both a menu and command line interface.


Pcp is an abbreviation for phencyclidine.


PCShield by Axent Technologies Limited is a good practices enforcing software

product for personal computers. It forces users to select passwords which are

hard to crack, and provides encryption for data.


Pdel by Patri-Soft is an extension to the DOS computer operating system. It has

extensive file selection capabilities letting you delete just what you want.

You can select by date/time, size, attribute and special wildcard patterns like

  • DISK*.* and mode. You can delete until a specified amount of freespace exists.

Wipe file data before deleting to prevent file undelete. A test feature

simulates delete. Pdel includes an emergency stop by pressing any key.


The PDP-10 (Programmed Data Processor model 10) was a computer that made

timesharing real. It was adopted in the mid-1970s by many university computing

facilities and research labs, including the MIT AI Lab, Stanford, and CMU. The

PDP-10 was eventually eclipsed by the VAX machines (descendants of the PDP-11)

when DEC recognised that the 10 and VAX product lines were competing with each

other and decided to concentrate its software development effort on the more

profitable VAX. The PDP-10 was finally dropped from DEC's line in 1983,

following the failure of the Jupiter Project at DEC to build a viable new model.


PDS is an abbreviation for Portable Diagnostic System. It is an expert system

which diagnoses faults in machinery from information received from sensors

connected to the machinery. Sensor readings are compared with known data about

component malfunction symptoms to diagnose faults.

Peace of the Pyrenees

The Peace of the Pyrenees was concluded between France and Spain by Cardinal

Mazarin and De Haro, on the Ile des Faisans, in the river Bidassoa, on the

borders of the two countries, on the 7th of November 1659, terminating a war

which had lasted twenty-four years. By the treaty Spain ceded to France

Roussillon with the fortress of Perpignan so that the Pyrenees have since

formed the boundary between the two kingdoms.

Peace Pipe

see "Calumet"


Peat is a fibrous organic compound found in bogs that is formed by the partial

decomposition of plants.


The peck is a unit of capacity measurement equivalent to 2 gallons or 9.092

litres. A peck of flour was 14 lbs.


Pedro (pronounced "peedro") is a card game that was developed in the United

States in the nineteenth century as a variation of Pitch. The Pedro is the

trump 5, which is worth five points. Pedro was extremely widely played in the

US at the end of the nineteenth century, but during the twentieth century it

has gradually declined in popularity.


Pegasus is a northern constellation, situated southeast of Andromeda. The three

brightest stars of Pegasus form a square with Andromedae, called the square of

Pegasus. The constellation, which is named for the winged horse of Greek

mythology, is usually seen upside down in the sky, with only the head, neck,

and front half of the animal represented by the stars.


A pentagon is a five sided regular polygon.


A pentode is an electronic amplifying valve with 5 main electrodes.


A pentose is a sugar with 5 carbon atoms in the molecule.


A penumbra is a partly shaded region around the shadow of an opaque body. The

term is especially applied to describe the partly shaded region around a total

eclipse of the sun or moon.


Pepper is a card game played in Iowa, USA, and also in Ohio. It is a

essentially a version of Bid Euchre. A related game is found in several

card-game books under the name Hasenpfeffer ('jugged hare'), and the name

Pepper probably derives from this. Pepper is an easy game to learn, but offers

opportunities for strategy both in the bidding and the play.


Perception is the ability to observe and understand, particularly intuitively.


A percolator is a device for making coffee by allowing water to filter

repeatedly through ground coffee.


see "Ciapano"


The pericarp is the wall of the ripened ovary of a plant.


see "Pericarp"


Perigee is an astronomical term referring to the position in the Moon's orbit

nearest to the earth, opposite to Apogee.


A perigynous plant is one which has stamens situated around the pistil or ovary.

Perikon Detector

A Perikon Detector was a form of crystal detector employed in the early days of

radio broadcasting. It consisted of a crystal of zincite and a crystal of

bornite so mounted that there was a point contact between them.

Periodic law

In chemistry, periodic law is the law that the properties of the elements are

periodic functions of their atomic numbers.

Periodic table

In chemistry, the periodic table is a table illustrating the periodic system in

which the chemical elements are arranged in the order of their atomic numbers

are shown in related groups.


see "Wig"


Perl (Practical Extraction and Report Language, a.k.a Pathologically Eclectic

Rubbish Lister) is an interpreted computer language developed by Larry Wall,

and distributed over USENET.


Permafrost is the permanently frozen subsoil in Arctic regions.


Permaid is an expert system, developed at Honeywell for trouble shooting large

disk drives.


Permalloy is a nickel steel alloy, containing about 78 percent nickel. It is

characterised by a very high permeability in low magnetic fields. It is

extensively used in submarine cables.


A permanganate is any salt of permanganic acid.


The Permian was the eighth geological period, 205,000,000 years ago. It marked

the evolution of the reptiles.


Perseus is a northern constellation, situated between Taurus and Cassiopeia.

The brightest star is Alpha Persei, or Mirfak. The constellation contains a

pair of star clusters, called the double cluster of Perseus, and Algol, which

is the best known of the eclipsing stars.


The persimmon is a yellow-orange plum-like astringent fruit. It becomes sweet

when softened by frost.

Pertussin ES

Pertussin ES is a tradename for dextromethorphan hydrochloride


A peruke was a man's wig of the 17th and 18th centuries. It was usually

powdered and gathered at the back of the neck with a ribbon.


A pessary is a vaginal suppository.

Peter Pan

Peter Pan is a play written by J M Barrie and first produced in 1904, it was a

popular hit and established Barrie as a top playwright of the era. It featured

actress Maude Adams, who had starred in several previous Barrie plays and

joined him in a stage partnership.


Petrol is a volatile, flammable liquid mixture of hydrocarbons, obtained from

petroleum and used as a fuel for internal-combustion engines.


Petroleum is an oily, thick, flammable, usually dark coloured liquid that is a

form of bitumen or a mixture of various hydrocarbons, occurring naturally in

various parts of the world and often separated by distillation into petrol,

naphtha, benzene, kerosene and paraffin.


Pewter is an alloy of tin and lead.

PFS:First Choice

PFS:First Choice by Software Publishing Corporation, is a software package that

integrates the power and ease of use of the original pfs: products into one

menu-driven product. This product combines spreadsheet, word processing, data

management, reporting, communications, and graphics functions into a compact

program designed for the beginning or occasional computer user. The First

Choice spreadsheet is more intuitive than the spreadsheets in other integrated

packages. All entries are typed directly into the cell where they will appear

instead of being entered on a command line and then inserted. The Quick Entry

key allows automatic entry of a series of related headings such as months of

the year. Begin by typing January and then use the Tab key to enter February,

March, and April. The First Choice word processor offers a conversion utility

that allows quick conversion of files from other popular word processing

programs such as Microsoft Word and WordPerfect. Documents created in the word

processing module can be viewed or printed as a slide using custom fonts and

styles. You can create on-screen presentations combining both text and graphic



pH is a measurement of acidity or alkalinity in terms of hydrogen ion content.


Phencyclidine (PCP) is a dissociative anesthetic and central nervous system

stimulant. Which was formerly used as a human tranquilizer, discontinued in

1953 and as an animal tranquilizer, discontinued in 1979.

Phenic Acid

see "Carbolic Acid"


see "Carbolic Acid"

Phenyl benzene

Phenyl benzene is a colourless crystalline organic compound. It can be made by

passing benzene through a red-hot tube, when condensation takes place with the

formation of phenyl benzene. It also occurs in coal-tar, and it is used in

organic syntheses.

Phenyl salicylate

see "Salol"

Phenylacrylic Acid

see "Cinnamic Acid"


Philology is the study of languages, especially as regards their historical

development and their mutual points of contact, their internal structure and

external groupings. Philology first started among the ancient Greeks and

Romans, and then lay dormant until the Renaissance.


Phocine is a zoological term pertaining to seals.


The phon is the unit of loudness.


see "Gramaphone"


A phosphate is any salt of phosphorus oxy acids.

Phosphoric acid

Phosphoric acid can exist as a crystal or clear liquid. It is an oily, thick,

colourless, and odourless liquid, or a thick, colourless, unstable crystalline

solid. It is used in the manufacture of phosphates, such as salts, soaps, and

detergents; fertilizers; yeasts; fire control agents; opal glass; electric

lights; dental cements; waxes and polishes; gelatin; ethylbenzene, propylene,

and cumene; and soft drinks. It is used as an acid catalyst, soil stabilizer,

antioxidant in food, acidulant and flavour agent in jellies and preserves,

bonding agent for refractory bricks, and petrol additive. It is also used in

the rustproofing and polishing of metals, cotton dyeing, tile cleaning,

extracting penicillin, hot stripping for aluminum and zinc substrates, ceramic

binding, water treatment, process engraving, electro-polishing, coagulating of

rubber latex, operating lithography and photoengraving operations, and

pickling. It is used to manufacture the phosphoric acid electrolyte fuel cell

system which has created the largest fuel cell built. It has been used to treat

lead poisoning. Phosphoric acid is incompatible with strong caustics and most

metals. It readily reacts with metals to form flammable hydrogen gas. The

liquid can solidify at temperatures below 21 degrees C. It is corrosive to

ferrous metals and alloys. It is soluble in alcohol and hot water. It can form

three series of salts: primary phosphates, dibasic phosphates, and tribasic

phosphates. It is deliquescent and hygroscopic. It is a chelating agent. It has

a low vapour pressure at room temperature. Phosphoric acid is also known as

orthophosphoric acid, metaphosphoric acid, and white phosphoric acid.


Phosphorus is a non-metallic element of the nitrogen family that occurs widely

as a phosphate. It has the symbol P.


A phot is a unit of luminous flux equal to the illumination produced by one

lumen on a surface of one square centimetre.


In physics, photometry is the measurement of the luminous intensity of a light

source, or the amount of luminous flux falling upon a surface from such a

source. Photometry is important in photography , astronomy, and illumination

engineering. Instruments used for photometry are called photometers. Light

waves stimulate the human eye in different degrees, depending on the wavelength

of the light. Because it is difficult to make an instrument with the same

sensitivity for different wavelengths as the human eye, many photometers use a

human observer. Photoelectric photometers need special colored filters to make

them respond like the human eye. Instruments that measure radiant energy

instead of light are called radiometers, and must be made equally sensitive to

all wavelengths. The intensity of a light source is measured in candle power,

usually by comparing the source with a standard source provided by the National

Bureau of Standards. The known and unknown sources illuminate portions of a

window surface side by side, and their distances are adjusted until the

illumination on the surface is the same. The relative intensity is then

calculated from the inverse square law.


A photon is a light quantum, that is a definite amount of radiation having a

frequency within the visible spectrum. A photon is emitted from an excited atom

when one of the orbital electrons, having been transferred to an orbit of

higher energy level, suddenly returns to its former orbit.


Photosynthesis is the process by which plants convert carbon dioxide into

carbohydrates by chlorophyll under the influence of light.


Something which is phototropic seeks light. The term is used in Biology to

describe animalcules which seek the light.


Phrenology (craniology) is the study of the external form of the human skull,

as indicative of mental powers and moral qualities. It was propounded by Gall,

a German physician around 1796.

Phthalic Acid

Phthalic Acid is obtained by the oxidation of napthalene by means of fuming

sulphuric acid and mercury. It forms colourless crystals that are soluble in

water. When heated it yields an anhydride and is the parent substance of the

phthalein dye-stuffs.

Physical change

In chemistry, physical change is a change in the condition or state of a

substance; it's composition is not altered.


The piano is a musical instrument with a keyboard. It was invented in the 18th

century as a development of the harpsichord. Strings are stuck by hammers when

the keys are depressed.


Pica is a size of print (12 point) giving about 6 lines to the inch.


A picador is a horse-mounted, lance armed bull fighter.


A picaroon was a name for pirate or pirate ship.


The piccolo is a woodwind instrument of the flute family.


The picul was a Chinese unit of weight equivalent to 133.5 lbs.


Piezo is a prefix signifying pressure.


The pig was a British measurement of ballast equal to 56 lbs.


see "Varicose Veins"


Pinchbeck is an alloy of 80 percent copper and 20 percent zinc once used for

making cheap watch cases, and more recently as a substitute for the more

expensive bronze. It was invented by a London watchmaker in the 18th century.


Pinene is a terpene colourless liquid which smells like turpentine and occurs

in pine trees and the essential oils of eucalyptus, lemon and thyme.


The pint is a unit of capacity measurement equivalent to 4 gills or 0.568



Piquet is a card game for two players, using a shortened pack of 32 cards which

omits 2 to 6 in each suit. In ascending order, the cards rank 7, 8, 9, 10, J,

Q, K, A (high).


Pisti (pronounced "pishti") is a popular Turkish card game, using a standard

52-card deck. It is normally played by four people in partnerships, partners

sitting opposite. The direction of play is anticlockwise. Cards are played to a

central pile, which can be captured by matching the previous card played or

playing a jack. Points are scored for certain captured cards. The word "pisti",

which means "cooked", describes a capture of a pile containing only one card,

for which extra points are scored.


A pistil is a an ovule-bearing or seed-bearing female organ of a flower,

consisting of the ovary, style and stigma.


Pistillate is a botanical term for flowers with have a pistil or pistils but no



Pitch is the highness or lowness of a musical sound.

Pitch also known as Setback or High-Low-Jack is a North American card game,

derived from the old English game of All Fours (which was also known in America

as Seven Up or Old Sledge). Pitch is basically All Fours with bidding added.

Some of the newer versions of Pitch include other features such as extra points

and an opportunity to improve one's hand by taking extra cards and discarding.

There are essentially two types of Pitch game: Partnership Pitch (played with

partners, obviously) and Cutthroat Pitch (in which everyone plays for



A piton is a metal spike used in mountaineering as a support for a belaying pin.


A pitpan is a Central American dug-out boat.


see "1-chloro-3-ethyl-1-penten-4 yn-3-ol"

Plane table

A plane table is a device used in surveying and consisting of a movable

telescope resting upon a flat board mounted on a tripod. By its use a reliable

plan may be prepared in the field directly upon a sheet of paper pinned to the



A planet is a heavenly body which orbits a star.


A Planimeter is a simple integrating instrument for measuring the area of a

regular or irregular plane surface. It consists of two hinged arms: one is kept

fixed and the other is traced around the boundary of the area. This actuates a

small graduated wheel; the area is calculated from the wheel's change in



A plant is a living organism of the vegetable kingdom. Generally they are

capable of living wholly on inorganic substances. They lack locomotion and

special organs of sensation and digestion.


A plantation is a an assemblage of planted and growing plants.


see "Plant"

Plaster of Paris

Plaster of paris is calcium sulphate mixed with water to make casts.


Plastic is a group of synthetic polymers made from oils and which are capable

of being moulded into shape by heat or pressure or both.


A plateau is an elevated plain whose edges slope somewhat abruptly to a lower



Platinum is a rare metal more valuable than gold with the symbol Pt and a

relative hardness of 5. It has a high melting point and is resistant to



The Pleistocene (ice age) was the seventeenth geological period, 500,000 years

ago. It marked the evolution of tool-making man.


A plimsoll is a shoe with a canvas upper vulcanised to a rubber sole. They were

invented for wear on board ship.

Plink86 Plus

Plink86 Plus by Phoenix Computer Products is an overlay linker that brings

modular programming to the PC. It lets you write a program as large and complex

as necessary with no need to worry about whether it will fit within available

memory. Plink86 Plus's automatic overlay-module technique allows programs to be

divided into any number of tree-structured overlay areas, handles diskette

changes, and segments the program for add-on packages. Plink86 Plus is a

two-pass linkage editor that accepts any object file conforming to the Intel or

Microsoft format and outputs executable program files. The first pass is for

memory-segment addressing and the second creates the output file. Plink86 Plus

works with Lattice C, Microsoft FORTRAN, Microsoft C 5.0, IBM FORTRAN (77), the

IBM BASIC Compiler, the Turbo C compiler, and Clipper among other compilers.


The Pliocene was the sixteenth geological period, 8,000,000 years ago. It

marked the modern formation of the continents.


A plough is an agricultural implement used for tilling the soil.


Plutonium is an artificial radioactive metal element with the symbol Pu.


Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lung due to infection.


The pocket was a British measurement for hops ranging from 168 to 224 lbs.


The pogo was a punk dance of the late 1970's and early 1980's which involved

jumping into the air whilst keeping the arms straight at the sides of the body,

the body stiff and tense and the legs straight and the head cocked to one side.

The body was propelled upwards by flexing the feet.


see "Toxin"


see "Toxic"

Poker Menteur

Poker Menteur (Liar Poker in English) is the card game equivalent of a dice

game known in Britain as Liar Dice.


see "North Star"


Polio is a virus infection of the central nervous system affecting nerves that

activate muscles.


The polka is a lively Bohemian folk dance.


Pollux (Beta Geminorum) is the southernmost of the two stars in the zodiacal

constellation Gemini, called the heavenly twins, the other twin being Castor.

Pollux is a star of the first magnitude and is 33 light-years away from the



Polonium is a metal radioactive element with the symbol Po.

Polychlorinated biphenyls

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a family of man-made chemicals that

contain 209 individual compounds with varying toxicity. Commercial formulations

of PCBs enter the environment as mixtures consisting of a variety of PCBs and

impurities. Because of their insulating and nonflammable properties, PCBs have

been used widely as coolants and lubricants in transformers, capacitors, and

other electrical equipment. The manufacture of PCBs stopped in the USA in

October 1977 because of evidence that PCBs accumulate in the environment and

may cause health hazards for humans.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a group of chemicals that are

formed during the incomplete burning of coal, oil and gas, garbage, or other

organic substances. PAHs can be man-made or occur naturally. There is no known

use for most of these chemicals except for research purposes. A few of the PAHs

are used in medicines and to make dyes, plastics, and pesticides. They are

found throughout the environment in the air, water, and soil. There are more

than 100 different PAH compounds. Although the health effects of the individual

PAHs are not exactly alike, the following 15 PAHs are considered as a group:

acenaphthene, acenaphthylene, anthracene, benz(a)anthracene, benzo(a)pyrene,

benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(ghi)perylene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, chrysene,

dibenz(a,h)anthracene, fluoranthene, fluorene, indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene,

phenanthrene, pyrene. As pure chemicals, PAHs generally exist as colourless,

white, or pale yellow-green solids. Most PAHs do not occur alone in the

environment (including those found at hazardous waste sites), rather they are

found as mixtures of two or more PAHs. They can occur in the air either

attached to dust particles, or in soil or sediment as solids. They can also be

found in substances such as crude oil, coal, coal tar pitch, creosote, and road

and roofing tar. Most PAHs do not dissolve easily in water, but some PAHs

readily evaporate into the air. PAHs generally do not burn easily and they will

last in the environment for months to years.


Polyester is a thermosetting plastic used in the manufacture of synthetic



Polyethylene is a thermosetting plastic polymer of ethylene.


Polygon is a term used in geometry to describe a closed plane figure with three

or more straight line sides. Common polygons are figures such as the triangle,

quadrilateral and the hexagon. A square is a regular polygon where the sides

and all angles are equal.


A polymer is a compound made up of large molecules composed of many repeated

simple units.


Polypus is a small benign tumour of the skin due to local overgrowth of the



A polysaccharide is a long chain of carbohydrate made up of hundreds of linked

simple sugars, such as glucose.


The Pommel-Horse is an article of gymnastic apparatus. It is an almost

trapezoidal, leather covered body on legs which only men compete on due to the

perceived requirement for great strength in the arms and shoulders. The body

has two handle, known as pommels, centred along the upper surface of the horse

about 40 cm apart.


Pontoon is the British version of the internationally popular banking card game

Twenty-one, perhaps now best known in the form of the American Casino version

Blackjack. The game Pontoon and its name are derived from the French

Vingt-et-un (21). The variation Shoot Pontoon makes the betting more

interesting, by incorporating the betting mechanism of Shoot. Pontoon can be

played by any number of players from two upwards - it works well with five to

eight players - using a standard 52-card deck. For a large number of players,

say eight or more, two 52-card decks can be mixed together. The players also

need a supply of money or chips for betting. The cards have values: ace is

worth 1 or 11 at the holder's choice, kings, queens, jacks and tens are worth

ten, and the remaining cards are worth their pip value. Each player's basic aim

is to form a hand whose total value is as near as possible to 21, without going

above 21.


The pood was a Russian unit of weight equal to 36.112 lbs.

Poor laws

The poor laws were an act of parliament between 1562 and 1601 which gave local

authorities the responsibility for settling and supporting the poor in England.


A positron is a positively-charged particle of the same mass as the electron

and with a charge equivalent but opposite in sign to that of the electron.


Postcode, from AFD Software, is a software system which looks up addresses from

postcodes. The datafile is about 18Mb, which includes the indices which reduce

typical search times to less than one second.


PostScript is a groundbreaking Page Description Language (PDL), based on work

originally done by John Gaffney at Evans and Sutherland in 1976, evolving

through `JaM' (`John and Martin', Martin Newell) at XEROX PARC, and finally

implemented in its current form by John Warnock et al. after he and Chuck

Geschke founded Adobe Systems Incorporated in 1982. PostScript gets its

leverage by using a full programming language, rather than a series of

low-level escape sequences, to describe an image to be printed on a laser

printer or other output device (in this it parallels EMACS, which exploited a

similar insight about editing tasks). It is also noteworthy for implementing

on-the fly rasterization, from Bezier curve descriptions, of high-quality fonts

at low (e.g. 300 dpi) resolution (it was formerly believed that hand-tuned

bitmap fonts were required for this task).

Pot Metal

Pot Metal is an inferior kind of brass comprised of 10 parts of copper to 6 or

8 parts of lead. It is used for making large vessels employed in the arts and

in some stained glass.

Potash Water

Potash Water is an aerated water produced by mixing bicarbonate of potash with

carbonic acid water in the proportion of 20 grains to each bottle of the water,

or about half an ounce to the gallon. Bisulphate of potash was sometimes used

to produce an effervescing drink as it was cheaper than tartaric acid.


Potassium is a silver-white, light, soft, low-melting, univalent metallic

element of the alkali group, it occurs abundantly in nature especially combined

in minerals. It has the symbol K.

Potassium Acid Sulphate

see "Potassium Bisulphate"

Potassium antimonyl tartrate

Potassium antimonyl tartrate (tartar emetic) is a poison formerly used in small

quantities to induce sweating and as an emetic. It is obtained by boiling

antimony oxide with a solution of cream of tartar. It forms rhombic

efflorescent crystals, is fairly soluble in water and has an unpleasant taste.

Potassium Bisulphate

Potassium bisulphate (potassium acid sulphate) is a colourless, crystalline

water-soluble substance used chiefly in the conversion of tartrates to


Potassium Bromate

Potassium bromate is a white, crystalline, water-soluble powder used chiefly as

an oxidising agent and as an analytical reagent.

Potassium Bromide

Potassium bromide (bromide) is a white, crystalline, water-soluble powder. It

has a bitter, saline taste and is used in the manufacture of photographic

papers and plates and as a sedative.

Potassium Carbonate

Potassium carbonate is a white, granular, water-soluble substance used chiefly

in the manufacture of soap, glass and potassium salts.

Potassium nitrate

Potassium nitrate is a white bitter tasting substance used in gunpowder, as an

oxidising agent, for pickling meat and in medicine.

Potassium Oxalate

Potassium oxalate is a colourless, crystalline water-soluble substance. It is

toxic, and is used as a bleaching agent and in medical tests as an


Potassium sodium tartrate

see "Cream of Tartar"

Potassium Sorbate

Potassium sorbate is a potassium salt version of sorbic acid, a polyunsaturated

fat used to inhibit mold growth. It was first discovered by the French in the

1850's, having been derived from the rowan tree. It is widely used in the food

industry. It has been found to be non-toxic even when taken in large

quantities, and breaks down in the body into water and carbon dioxide in the

Kreb's Cycle.

Potassium Tartrate

see "Tartar"

Potassium Thiocyanide

Potassium Thiocyanide is a sulphocyanate. It is colourless, easily dissolvable

crystals used in dyeing.

Potential Energy

Potential energy is energy possessed by a body by virtue of its position.


Poudrette is a powdery manure obtained from ordure. It takes a long time to

prepare, is pulverulent, brown in colour and almost inodorous.


Pounce is a fine powder formerly used to prevent ink from spreading on paper,

now superseded by blotting-paper.


Poundage was a duty on all imports and exports imposed in 1302 and abolished in



The poundal is the imperial unit of force, now replaced in the SI system by the

newton. One poundal equals 0.1383 newtons. It is defined as the force necessary

to accelerate a mass of one pound by one foot per second per second.

Powernote MMX

The Powernote MMX is a laptop PC from Powercom. It is based upon an Intel

Pentium MMX processor clocked at 166 mhz and is supplied with 32 mb of RAM, 810

mb EIDE hard disk, CD-ROM, 1.44 mb floppy drive and a Neomagic 2093ZV graphics



Microsoft PowerPoint is one of the most useful presentation programs available.

Its unique approach gives you the ability to create overheads, 35mm slides,

notes for yourself, and handouts for your audience. PowerPoint lets you plan,

compose, and create an entire presentation in a simple, structured manner.

PowerPoint lets you create, manage, edit, and manipulate slides. Powerful word

processing capabilities and some drawing capabilities are built into the

program. The product lets you integrate elements created elsewhere. When

creating presentations using the Slide Master, you can create a standard format

template, including text and graphics, for all slides. Free-form design lets

you integrate what you need on a slide including typeset-quality text,

diagrams, graphs, and illustrations. Graphics from the clipboard or scrapbook

can be integrated into a PowerPoint slide or you can use the Paste From command

to import information from files of other applications. The program's text

capabilities include multiple fonts, sizes, and styles. It also includes a

spell checker and a find-and-replace text command that works with slides, note

pages, and handout pages. You can also create diagrams with its drawing tools

which include lines, ellipses, rectangles, and rounded rectangles. The

slide-management tools let you rearrange and refine your presentation. A slide

sorter displays your slide show on-screen in thumbnail sketch view. You can

delete, copy, and rearrange slides and add slides from other presentations. You

can also edit the slides by double clicking on them. A slide show feature lets

you preview your slides in sequence if you want to rehearse your presentation.

Speaker's notes and audience handouts (with two, three, or six slides per page)

can be created at the same time you create slides through a user-definable

notepage associated with each slide. You can output slides to a printer,

slide-making device, or the Genigraphics slidemaking bureau (a driver is


Poynings' Law

Poynings' Law (the statute of Drogheda) was an act of the Irish parliament,

passed in 1495, whereby all general statutes before that time in England were

declared of force in Ireland. It was so named from Sir Edward Poynings, deputy

of Ireland under Henry VII in 1494 when he suppressed the revolt of Perkin



Pozzolana or pozzuolana is a sort of mortar produced in Italy and formed of

volcanic ashes. When mixed with a small portion of lime it quickly hardens even

under water. This singular property rendered it very useful in the erection of

moles and other buildings in maritime situations.


see "Pozzolana"


In English law, praemunire is a kind of offence of a nature of contempt against

the Sovereign and the government. The last prosecution of praemunire took place

in the reign of Charles II.


Praseodymium is a metal element with the symbol Pr used as a pigment in glass.


The Pre-Cambrian period was the second geological period. It was the time when

the first animal life appeared, about 1,125,000,000 years ago.


In chemistry, a precipitate is an insoluble liquid that separates from solution.


Presto is a musical term designating a faster rate of movement than that

indicated by allegro.


see "primate"


Primero is an old Italian card game which became popular throughout Europe in

the 16th century and perhaps earlier. It is a showdown game in which players

are dealt four cards. The combination which gives its name to the game is the

prime, which consists of one card of each suit.

Prince Rupert's Drops

Prince Rupert's Drops are drops of glass thrown while in a state of fusion into

water, and thus suddenly consolidated, taking generally a form somewhat like a

tadpole. The thick end may be struck with a hammer without breaking, but should

the smallest part of the tail be nipped off, or the surface scratched with a

diamond, the whole flies into fine dust with an almost explosive force. This

phenomena is due to the state of strain in the interior of the mass of glass,

caused by the sudden consolidation of the crust which is formed while the

internal mass is still liquid. This tends to contract on cooling, but is

prevented by the molecular forces which attach it to the crust. This

philosophical toy gets its name from being invented or being brought first into

notice by Prince Rupert, nephew of Charles I.

Prince Rupert's Metal

see "Prince's Metal"

Prince's Metal

Prince's Metal (or Prince Rupert's Metal) is imitation gold made from copper

and zinc.


A prism is a solid figure that is essentially triangular in shape and made of a

transparent material. They are used in physics to deviate or disperse a ray in

optical instruments or laboratory experiments. If a narrow beam of white light

is passed through a prism it is split into a range of colours. The light is

split because each of the colours is refracted by a different amount, because

each is light of a different wavelength.


Procomm is a shareware communications program for the IBM PC usually used for

accessing dial-up services such as BBS.

Profane Oaths Act

The Profane Oaths Act of 1745 makes it a punishable offence in Britain to curse

or swear blasphemously.


Prolog is a computer programming language used mainly for artificial



Promethium is a metal element with the symbol Pm.


Propaganda was an association established in Rome in 1622 for the purpose of

diffusing a knowledge of Roman Catholicism throughout the world.


Propane is an alkene hydrocarbon.


Propane is a gaseous hydrocarbon found in petroleum. It has the formulae c3h8.


Propylaea is an architectural term referring to the entrance to a Greek temple.

Propylene glycol monomethyl ether

Propylene glycol monomethyl ether is a glycol ether primarily used in the

manufacture of lacquers and paints, as an anti-freeze in industrial engines, a

tailing agent for inks used on very high-speed presses, a coupling agent for

resins and dyes in water-based inks, and a solvent for celluloses, acrylics,

dyes, inks, and stains. It is also used in cleaning products such as glass and

rug cleaners, carbon and grease removers, and paint and varnish removers; and

in pesticide formulations as a solvent for applications to crops and animals.

Propylene glycol monomethyl ether is a colourless liquid with a sweet

ether-like odour and bitter taste. It is soluble in water, ether, acetone, and

benzene. It is also known as 1-methyl-2-hydroxypropane.

Propylene oxide

Propylene oxide is a colourless liquid with an ether-like odour that is used

mainly as a chemical intermediate in the production of polyurethane polyols,

which are used to make polyurethane foams, coatings, and adhesives. It is used

in the manufacture of propylene glycol, which is used in fiberglass-reinforced

plastics, foods, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, cigarette tobacco, packaging

materials, dyes, and hydraulic fluids. It is also used in the preparation of

glycol ethers, dipropylene glycol, industrial polyglycols, lubricants,

surfactants, oil demulsifiers, isopropanolamines, and as a solvent and soil

sterilant. It is used in fumigation chambers for the sterilization of packaged

foods; as a stabilizer for methylene chloride, fuel, and heating oils; in

treating wood for termite resistance; as an acid scavenger and pH control

agent; for removing residual catalysts from crude polyolefins; in fuel-air

explosives in munitions; and as a component of Zeospan, a polyether rubber.

Propylene oxide is a volatile, flammable liquid that is soluble in water,

alcohol, and ether. It is highly dangerous when exposed to heat or flame. It

has a violent reaction with hydrogen chloride, chlorosulfonic acid, hydrogen

fluoride, and oleum. It should not be stored in the presence of acids, bases,

chlorides of iron, aluminum, and tin, or peroxides of iron and aluminum; any of

these may cause violent polymerization. Propylene oxide is miscible with most

organic solvents, and forms a two-layer system with water. It is incompatible

with anhydrous metal chlorides, iron, strong acids, caustics, and peroxides,

and reacts vigorously with oxidizing materials. When exposed to flame,

propylene oxide can explode. Polymerization may occur due to high temperatures

or contamination with alkalis, aqueous acids, amines, and acidic alcohols.

Propylene oxide is also known as epoxypropane; 1,2-epoxypropane; methyl

ethylene oxide; methyl oxirane; propene oxide; and 1,2-propylene oxide.

Derivatives of

e oxide are polyether polyols; propylene glycol; di- and tripropylene glycol;

poly (propylene glycol)s; surfactants; glycol ethers; and isopropanolamines.


A proscenium is that part in a theatre from the curtain or drop-scene to the

orchestra. The term is also applied to the curtain and the ornamental framework

from which it hangs.


In Roman history, proscription was a mode of getting rid of enemies, first

resorted to by Sulla in 82 BC. Under Sulla lists of names were drawn up and

posted in public places with the promise of a reward to any person who should

kill any of those named in the lists, and the threat of death to those who

should aid or shelter any of them. Their property was also confiscated, and

their children declared incapable of honours.


Prose is ordinary spoken or written language, untrammelled by poetic measure,

and thus used in contradistinction to verse or poetry.


Prosody is that part of grammar which treats of the quantity of syllables, of

accent, and of the laws of versification. Though chiefly restricted to

versification, it may also be extended to prose composition. In the Greek and

Latin languages every syllable had its determinate length or quantity, and

verses were constructed by systems of recurring feet, each foot containing a

definite number of syllables, possessing a certain quantity and arrangement.


Prostin is a tradename for alprostadil.


Protactinium is a rare actinide element with the symbol Pa.


Protein is a long chain molecule made up of amino acids joined by peptide

bonds. Protein forms the structural material of bodily tissues.


see "protein"


Protium is an isotope of hydrogen.


A proton is a positively charged sub atomic particle.

Prussic Acid

see "Hydrocyanic Acid"


Psearch by Patri-Soft is an extension to the DOS computer operating system. You

provide words or phrases, and it will scan directories to find files containing

the text. Extensive file selection and pattern matching are provided. It

provides an intelligent display of found text with a scroll back and program

launcher. Psearch saves search results for later review. Psearch was

recommended in PC World as one of the Best of Shareware products in 1990.


Psychoanalysis is a theory and treatment method for neuroses developed by Freud.


Psychology was originally thought of as a department of philosophy which dealt

with the mind. Today, it is recognised as the science of the nature, function

and phenomena of the human mind and human behaviour.


A pub is a house licensed for the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Publisher's Paintbrush

Publisher's Paintbrush by ZSoft is a full-featured freehand-painting program

that offers all the standard capabilities found in other painting programs (it

is a superset of PC Paintbrush), plus some capabilities desktop publishers will

find invaiuable. When creating or scanning a 300-dpi image, a 62 screen image

is produced. Rather than editing the image screen-by-screen, you can zoom out

and work on the multiscreen image in its entirety. The editing you do in normal

mode can be handled in the zoomout mode. The program lets you take full

advantage of scanners, laser printers, and desktop publishing programs. Used

with scanners, Publisher's Paintbrush gives you control over brightness and

contrast, the resolution at which you want to scan the image, and the location

on the page you want to scan. Publisher's Paintbrush lets you define the exact

dimensions on the page of your scanned image which greatly reduces the amount

of time it takes to scan and edit images. Publisher's Paintbrush has very

strong typography capabilities, making it ideal for creating illustrations that

require sophisticated type. Type sizes are adjustable to any point size. You

can slant the type to any angle to get curved type, italicise it as much or as

little as you would like, and set the line and character spacing. Leading and

keming are also adjustable. Publisher's Paintbrush lets you edit at the pixel

level with 300 dpi full-page output.


Puffer by Kent Briggs is a password-based data file and e-mail encryption

utility for Microsoft Windows. It allows you to keep your personal, business,

and electronic transmitted data private. Puffer uses the highly rated Blowfish

algorithm for fast, secure encryption and the Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA) for

key generation. Three output formats are supported including binary,

self-extracting executables, and 7-bit text for Internet e-mail. Puffer also

includes a three-pass, secure file wipe feature.


Pukhtu is a dialect of the language Pushtu.


Pulu is a silky fibrous substance obtained from ferns of the genus Cibotium,

and formerly used for stuffing mattresses.


A pump is a machine for moving fluid from one place to another.


Pumpernickel is a German wholemeal rye bread. It is dark brown and often

sweetened and spiced.


A punch is a machine for making or starting holes. Punch, or The London

Charivari, was an illustrated weekly comic paper published in London first on

July 17th 1841. It ceased publication in the 1990s and has since been restarted

with limited success.

Punch and Judy

Punch and Judy is a puppet show in which the chief protagonist, Punch

(punchinello) strangles his child, beats his wife, Judy, to death and assaults

a policeman amongst other gruesome acts. The show was first popular in England

during the reign of Queen Anne, and is still a favourite among children at the



A puncheon was a liquid measure of capacity containing from 84 to 120 gallons.

In beer it was equal to one and a third hogsheads, or seven firkins.


see "Punch and Judy"


Originally, a punkah was a portable fan made from the leaf of the palmra, but

in Anglo-Indian parlance a large fixed and swinging fan formed of cloth

attached to a rectangular frame suspended from the ceiling and pulled backwards

and forwards by means of a cord, thus causing a current of air in the apartment.


A punt is a rectangular flat-bottomed boat used for fishing and shooting in

shallow waters. The most common method of propulsion is by pushing with a pole

against the bottom of the river, a process known as punting.


A purgative is a substance which causes evacuation by the bowels.


Purilase are enzymes used to assist the breakdown of starch in effluent

treatment plants.


Purim is a Jewish festival observed on the 14th and 15th of Adar (March),

instituted to commemorate the preservation of the Jews in Persia from the

destruction threatened them by the schemes of Haman.


Purisol is a specialised macro-nutrient solution to enhance performance in

biological effluent treatment plants


Purl is a hot beer flavoured with gin, sugar and ginger. It was popular in

England around the end of the 19th century and the start of the 20th century.


Purple is a secondary colour compounded by the union of the primaries blue and

red. As a dye it was originally obtained from Tyrian dye.


Pus is a yellowish liquid that forms in the body as a result of bacterial



Push is a partnership card game related to contract rummy.


Pushtu is a vernacular language of Aryan origin spoken in Afghanistan.


A pustulant is a counter-irritant such as croton oil.


Putty is a kind of paste or cement compounded of whiting or soft carbonate of

lime and linsead-oil, beaten or kneaded to the consistency of dough. It is used

by glaziers for fitting window panes and also by house painters to stop up

holes in wood-work prior to painting.


Putty-powder is a pulverised oxide of tin sometimes mixed with oxide of lead.

It is extensively used for polishing and other purposes in glass and marble



In billiards, pyramids is a game played with 15 red balls and 1 white ball. The

red balls are placed together in the shape of a triangle, or pyramid at the

spot. The object of the game being to pot the most balls. This game was popular

around 1900, and may perhaps have developed into the modern game of Pool.


The pyrheliometer is an instrument devised by Pouillet for measuring the

intensity of the heat of the sun. It consists of a shallow cylindrical vessel

of thin silver or copper, containing water or mercury in which a thermometer is

plunged. The upper surface of the vessel is covered with lamp-black so as to

make it absorb as much heat as possible, and the vessel is attached to a

support in such a way that the upper surface can be always made to receive the

rays of the sun perpendicularly.


see "Vitamin B6"

Pyrogallic Acid

Pyrogallic Acid (pyrogallol) is an acid obtained by the dry distillation of

gallic acid. It forms colourless, odourless crystals, is readily soluble in

water, alcohol and ether and its alkaline solution readily absorbs oxygen. It

is used as a developer in photography.


see "Pyrogallic Acid"

Pyroligneous Acid

Pyroligneous Acid is an impure acetic acid obtained by the distillation of wood.


A pyrometer is a device for measuring temperatures outside of the range of a

mercurial thermometer.


A pyrophone is a musical instrument, in which the various notes are produced by

the burning of hydrogen gas within glass tubes of varying lengths and sizes.


A pyroscope is an instrument for measuring the intensity of heat radiating from

a hot body, or the frigorific influence of a cold body.

Pyrrhic Dance

The Pyrrhic Dance was an ancient Greek dance which consisted of moves

representing an attempt to avoid the strokes of an enemy in battle. It was

viewed as a kind of training for war.

Pythian Games

The Pythian Games were a Greek athletic contest originally limited to musical

competitions, and instituted in 527 BC in honour of Pythian Apollo and held

every 4 years at Delphi. The prize was a wreath of laurel.


A pyx was a covered vessel used in the Roman Catholic church to contain the

consecrated host. In ancient times it was sometimes made in the shape of a dove.


In botany, a pyxidium is a capsule with a lid, as seen in the henbane and in

the fruit of the monkey-pot tree.

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