Word Origin & History

common Gmc. consonantal combination, especially to start words implying twisting or distortion. Retained in Du., Flem.; reduced to -r- in O.H.G., O.N.; represented by vr- in Dan., Swed.; still spelled -wr- in Eng., but except in dialects the -w- ceased to be pronounced c.1450-1700.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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