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90s Slang You Should Know

per diem

[per dee-uh m, dahy-uh m] /pər ˈdi əm, ˈdaɪ əm/
by the day; for each day.
paid by the day.
a daily allowance, usually for living expenses while traveling in connection with one's work or being employed at a distance from one's home:
a per diem for lawmakers while the legislature is in session.
Origin of per diem
Borrowed into English from Latin around 1510-20
Can be confused
per annum, per capita, per diem. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for per diem
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • At school we are taught that it is necessary to fling our arms and legs to and fro for so many hours per diem.

    The Human Machine E. Arnold Bennett
  • Each member is allowed to draw for mileage, per diem, and ‘sundries.’

    The Clansman Thomas Dixon
  • You are paid fifty pounds per diem to see that there is more brains in my little finger than in all your carcass.

  • An average gain of just over one quarter of a second per diem!

    The Romance of Modern Mechanism Archibald Williams
  • Fancy the Londoners having to go and pay a fourpenny and a sixpenny bit each, per diem, for the pleasure of living in the town.

  • It was one of the most recherché and per diem affairs ever known in the city.

    Rolling Stones O. Henry
  • Work depends almost entirely on the actual number of hours per diem, don't you think?

    Letters to Helen Keith Henderson
  • He puts you in charge of the railroad porter, who is feed at the rate of about fifty cents per diem.

British Dictionary definitions for per diem

per diem

/ˈpɜː ˈdaɪɛm; ˈdiːɛm/
every day or by the day
  1. an allowance for daily expenses, usually those incurred while working
  2. (as modifier): a per-diem allowance
Word Origin
from Latin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for per diem

Latin, literally "by the day," from per (see per) + diem, accusative singular of dies "day" (see diurnal). As a noun from 1809.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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per diem in Culture
per diem [(puhr dee-uhm, deye-uhm)]

A Latin phrase meaning “by the day.” Traveling sales reps or government workers often are paid a per diem, meaning an allowance out of which to cover daily expenses while traveling.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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