thews (n.) Look up thews at Dictionary.com
Old English þeawes "customs, habit, manners; morals, conduct, disposition, personal qualities," plural of þeaw "habit, custom," from Proto-Germanic *thawaz (cognates: Old Saxon thau "usage, custom, habit," Old High German thau "discipline"). According to OED, with no certain cognates outside West Germanic and of unknown origin, but Watkins traces it to PIE root *teue- (1) "to pay attention." Meaning "bodily powers or parts indicating strength, good physique" is attested from 1560s, from notion of "good qualities." Acquired a sense of "muscular development" when it was revived by Scott (1818).