- ware (n.)
- "manufactured goods, goods for sale," Old English waru "article of merchandise," also "protection, guard," hence probably originally "object of care, that which is kept in custody," from Proto-Germanic *waro (source also of Swedish vara, Danish vare, Old Frisian were, Middle Dutch were, Dutch waar, Middle High German, German ware "goods"), from PIE *wer- (4) "to perceive, watch out for" (see ward (n.)).
Usually wares, except in compounds such as hardware, earthenware, etc. Lady ware was a jocular 17c. euphemism for "a woman's private parts" (but sometimes also "male sex organs"), and Middle English had ape-ware "deceptive or false ware; tricks" (mid-13c.).
- ware (v.)
- "to take heed of, beware," Old English warian "to guard against, beware; protect, defend," from Proto-Germanic *waraz (source also of Old Frisian waria, Old Norse vara), from PIE *war-o- "to guard, watch," from root *wer- (4) "to perceive, watch out for" (see ward (n.)).