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In Persian mythology, Peries are semi-divine beings, something akin to fallen angels. Though they appear to have had malevolent connotations at first, they gradually became the benevolent counterparts to the evil spirits, the divs. After Leyden's time they lost their original associations with Persian mythology and in English connoted a femme fatale, and later further generalized to a seductively attractive young woman, possibly leading to a conflation with the now much more common word "fairies." As seen in Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta "Iolanthe: The Peer and the Peri" where Peris are also referenced as fairies in the libretto [1] The word became increasingly obscure after the early 20th century and is now rarely used.

1.Boise State University, Iolanthe by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, with links to the libretto

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