Word Origin & History
"to bend, twist, distort," O.E. weorpan "to throw, throw away, hit with a missile," from P.Gmc. *werpanan "to fling by turning the arm" (cf. O.S. werpan, O.N. verpa "to throw," Swed. värpa "to lay eggs," O.Fris. werpa, M.L.G., Du. werpen, Ger. werfen, Goth. wairpan "to throw"), from PIE *werb-
"to turn, bend" (cf. L. verber "whip, rod;" Gk. rhabdos "rod," rhombos "magic wheel"), from base *wer- "to turn, bend" (see versus
). Connection between "turning" and "throwing" is perhaps in the notion of rotating the arm in the act of throwing; cf. Serbo-Cr. obratiti, O.C.S. vreshti "to throw." The meaning "twist out of shape" is first recorded c.1400; intransitive sense is from 1440.
"threads running lengthwise in a fabric," O.E. wearp-, from P.Gmc. *warpo- (cf. M.L.G. warp, O.H.G. warf "warp," O.N. varp "cast of a net"), from root *werp- (see warp
(v.)). The warp of fabric is that across which the woof is "thrown." Applied in 20c. astrophysics to the "fabric"
of space-time, popularized in noun phrase warp speed by 1960s TV series "Star Trek."