In Reply to: Swallow a perkin posted by Brian from Shawnee on January 04, 2010 at 17:43:
: : "Swallow a perkin"
: : I ran across this in Raphael Sabatini's book Captain Blood. I couldn't locate it in your database, so I thought you might like to have it to work on.
: An online glossary of the Anglo-Manx dialect says a perkin is a porpoise, and gives the following example of its use in a sentence: "These lumps (biggish boys) that could as aisy swallow a perkin." That example is from a poem by Rev. T.E. Brown who is apparently the foremost Anglo-Manx poet of the early 20th century.
What is equally possible, the OED says that "perkin" is a Wiltshire/Gloucestershire word for weak cider. If MB had only followed the site instructions and given us some context, we'd be able to tell whether either of these definitions seemed plausible. But he hasn't, so we can't. (VSD)