Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to twist or wind, especially into a cord or braid etc.
  • v. to ripple, swirl, especially of water
  • v.  to cause to revolve or spin
  • n. a ripple; a twist or curl

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To spin, as a top.
  • transitive v. To twist or twine, as hair in making fishing lines.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. See purl.

Etymologies

The verb is from the 16th century. Origin uncertain, related to purl, pirn, prill (OED; more at pern, preen). The noun is derived from the verb in the 19th century. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Strip of otter skins of about Six inches Wide taken out of the Center of the Skin it's whole length including the head. this is dressed with the hair on, this is tied around the neck & hangs in front of the body the tail frequently reaching below their knees; on this Skin in front is attatched pieces of pirl, beeds, wampom, pices of red Cloth and in

    The Journals of Lewis and Clark, 1804-1806

  • Chopunnish are, in their nose a Single Shell of wampom, the pirl & beeds are Suspended from the ears. beads are worn arround their wrists, neck and over their Sholders crosswise in the form of a double Sash -. the hair of the men is Cewed in two rolls which hang on each side in front of the body.

    The Journals of Lewis and Clark, 1804-1806

  • If you enter commands like: pirl $a = 3; pirl $b = $a + 1; pirl $c = $a + $b; it is supposed to do the same as a simple script like package Shell:: Perl:: sandbox; no strict qw (vars subs);

    Planet Perl

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