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Glossary

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P

  • plaque

    An ornamental tablet of metal, porcelain etc that depicts a person, scene or inscription. Often fixed to a building in commemoration of a person or notable historical occurence.

  • plasma

    The liquid component of blood, in which the blood cells are suspended. Plasma makes up around 55 per cent of blood's total volume.

  • plaster

    A term that refers to a variety of protective coverings or dressings.

  • plastic surgery

    A surgical speciality dealing with the restoration or construction of the body. Often used to refer to elective surgery done for aesthetic reasons.

  • plate

    A shallow vessel usually circular and of earthenware or china from which food is eaten or served.

  • plethysmograph

    An instrument for recording and measuring variations in the volume of organs or parts of the body. This is often caused by changes in blood pressure.

  • pleura

    The membranes covering the lungs and the inner cavity

  • pleurisy

    A condition caused by the inflammation of the pleura (the linings between the lungs and the ribcage). Symptoms include fever, chest pain and discomfort.

  • pleximeter

    A small, hard, elastic plate, made of ivory, bone, or rubber, placed in contact with body to receive a blow from a hammer or percussor.

  • pneumonia

    Inflammation of the lungs caused by bacteria. The air sacs (alveoli) become filled with inflammatory cells and the lungs eventually become solid.

  • pocket watch

    Watches meant to be carried in pockets, as opposed, for example to be worn on the wrist or carried on chains.

  • poison

    Any agent which, when introduced into the animal organism, is capable of producing a morbid, noxious, or deadly effect upon it. poisons are usually defined seperately from toxins or venoms as substances which are absorbed through epithelial linings such as the skin or gut.

  • poison cup

    Cup used to detect poisons by sampling and mixing with other materials.

  • polio

    An infectious disease affecting the central nervous system. Affected individuals can exhibit a range of symptoms if the polio virus enters the blood stream.

  • polygraph

    a machine designed to detect and record changes in physiological characteristics, such as a person's pulse and breathing rates, used especially as a lie detector.

  • pomander

    Small containers for fragrant spices or perfumes. A pomander was originally carried in the belief that it kept infection away.

  • porringer

    A small bowl with one or two handles, usually made of silver or pewter and most commonly used for eating greul or porridge. Popular in England and America from the 17th to the 19th centuries.

  • portrait

    A portrait is a painting, photograph, sculpture, or other artistic representation of a person, in which the face and its expression is predominant. The intent is to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the person.

  • posset pot

    A vessel for posset (hot milk curdled with ale or wine and seasoned with spices). Made in England in the 1700s and 1800s out of stoneware, tin-glazed earthenware, or glass.

  • post box

    Physical box for public and private use, used to collect outgoing mail

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