Word Origin & History
"manufactured goods, goods for sale," O.E. waru, probably originally "object of care, that which is kept in custody," from P.Gmc. *waro (cf. Swed. vara, Dan. vare, O.Fris. were, M.Du. were, Du. waar, M.H.G., Ger. ware "goods"); related to O.E. wær "aware, cautious" (see
). Usually wares, except in compounds such as hardware
, etc. Lady ware was a jocular 17c. euphemism for "a woman's private parts."
"to take heed of, beware," O.E. warian "to guard against," from P.Gmc. *warojan, from *waro- "to guard, watch" (cf. O.Fris. waria, O.N. vara); related to O.E. wær "aware" (see wary