from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A fermented, often effervescent beverage made from pears.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A fermented liquor, similar to cider, but made from the juice of pears. It is extensively produced in England, but is little known in America.
  • noun Same as pirry.
  • noun Jewels; precious stones.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A fermented liquor made from pears; pear cider.
  • noun obsolete A suddent squall. See pirry.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A fermented alcoholic beverage made from pears; somewhat analogous to cider.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun United States philosopher (1876-1957)
  • noun a fermented and often effervescent beverage made from juice of pears; similar in taste to hard cider
  • noun United States commodore who led the fleet that defeated the British on Lake Erie during the War of 1812; brother of Matthew Calbraith Perry (1785-1819)
  • noun United States admiral who led a naval expedition to Japan and signed a treaty in 1854 opening up trade relations between United States and Japan; brother of Oliver Hazard Perry (1794-1858)


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English pere, from Old French pere, from Vulgar Latin *pirātum, from Latin pirum, pear.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, peirrie; from Middle French, peré; from (assumed) Vulgar Latin, piratum; from Latin, pirum.



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  • Hm. I was thinking more of the beverage made by fermenting pear juice -- ie, a kind of cider made from pears. But perhaps Mr. Perry the philosopher indulged in perry.

    November 14, 2007

  • I bet Commodore Perry enjoyed a babycham too.

    November 14, 2007

  • "The English brewed perry or mobby from pears, and mead and methelin from fermented honey. Aquavit was a distilled ale, like a whiskey, based on fermented grain. Mum was brewed from wheat; juniper ale was flavored with juniper berries, bay leaves, coriander, and caraway seeds. Buttered ale was ale flavored with cinnamon, sugar, and butter. Cock ale was a mixture of ale and wine, steeped with raisins, cloves, and its namesake, a cooked rooster."

    —Sarah Hand Meacham, Every Home a Distillery: Alcohol, Gender, and Technology in the Colonial Chesapeake (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009), 11

    June 6, 2010

  • Cooked rooster??

    June 15, 2010

  • Yes, actually there's a comment about this on cock ale. That capital-letters thing is really crimping my game.

    June 16, 2010

  • Just read it. *barf*

    June 16, 2010

  • Listen. I don't know where you come from or what you drink normally, reesetee, but if you think something called "cock ale" would taste better with something other than rooster in it, I don't want to drink with you.

    June 16, 2010

  • Fine, then. See you around.

    Some people....

    *sips whale blubber ale*

    June 17, 2010