One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A wig or periwig.
- ‘The peruke still represented real hair and the ‘black patch’ had its model in the natural mole.’
- ‘The audience can clearly see that he is indeed a young boy in a peruke.’
- ‘Long-suffering servants were ordered about in French and wore perukes to wait on his guests.’
Mid 16th century (denoting a natural head of hair): from French perruque, from Italian perrucca, of unknown origin.
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