What does "Per John:" mean?

From the context of the article I'm reading (article unlinked), it seems to mean "From John:" or "John (said):"

What exactly does the word "per" mean when used as such?

  • Can you please provide more context? I'd like to give my answer but I wanna be sure from where you took that expression. :)
    – Alenanno
    May 31, 2011 at 7:51
  • 2
    A colleague of mine has the first name "Per." So, it'll be "Per per" in his case ...
    – Yuji
    Jun 1, 2011 at 1:58
  • 1
    possible duplicate of Usage of 'as per'
    – aedia λ
    Sep 16, 2011 at 1:54
  • @aedia this is a totally different thing altogether. My question is having the Per at the start of the sentence, with the syntax: "Per [name]:"
    – Pacerier
    Sep 16, 2011 at 16:17
  • I suggested that these are the same because the meaning doesn't change if we write per or as per someone. If, in a cover message, I write, As per John: Title changed to "Exceedingly Boring Report" or Per John: Title changed to "Exceedingly Boring Report", there's really no difference; I am saying the title was changed according to John. The new title came from him, or the change was made on account of his suggestion or demand; I attribute it to him.
    – aedia λ
    Sep 16, 2011 at 17:28

2 Answers 2


"Per" in this case means "according to", taken from the Latin word per which meant "per : (+ acc.) (cause) because of, on account of. "

The OED has a citation from 1818 where the meaning is "as laid down by (by a judge)"

The above was taken from here and here

  • I've always read it as "on behalf of." "According to," works most of the time, but "as laid down by," seems to translate better as "on behalf of."
    – xdumaine
    May 31, 2011 at 14:34
  • "On behalf of" is usually rendered per pro or pp, as when secretaries sign letters for their absent boss. It actually means the reverse of that, though :-)
    – user1579
    May 31, 2011 at 15:39
  • I agree "according to" or "as [name] said" is the meaning we're looking for: Per Jane, we are to meet in the conference room at 2, for example.
    – aedia λ
    May 31, 2011 at 16:01
  • Alternatively, per : (+ acc.) (means / instrument) through, with, by, by means of. Namely the last, 'By means of Jane (== By way of Jane; By the way of being informed by Jane) we are to meet in the conference room at 2.' This chimes far better with the latin I studied, where the only context per made much of an appearance in was similar to 'per viam advenit' (He came through the street... if my memory fails me not)
    – Sam
    Jun 9, 2014 at 13:53

Well, there's another very important usage of this word, one that hasn't been mentioned yet.

The room costs 40 € per person.

In this case, per has a meaning for for each. This matches with the main question as asked in the topic title, but doesn't with the example given in the thread itself: per John, as you never charge something per John, haha.

There's another case where per would fit both your examples. Like this:

I finished the job per John's request.

Which basically means you finished the job as John ordered you to.

  • 2
    I suspect most prositutes do in fact charge per john. ;-) Dec 23, 2013 at 16:34

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