Green’s Dictionary of Slang

perisher n.1

[one ‘perishes’ of the cold]

1. [late 19C–1920s] a short coat.

2. [20C+] a spell or day of very cold weather.

In phrases

do a perisher (v.)

[1900s–20s] (Aus.) to feel very cold.

go in a perisher (v.) [i.e. to the extent that one might SE perish]

1. [mid–late 19C] (Aus.) to pursue one’s course of action with maximum enthusiasm.

2. [late 19C-1900s] to suffer physical harm.