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Avoirdupois

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French, avoir, aver or avier, goods in general, and poise=poids (weight). Not the verb, but the noun avoir. Properly avoir de poids (goods having weight), goods sold by weight. We have the word aver, meaning goods in general, hence also cattle; whence such compounds as aver-corn, aver-penny, aver-silver, aver-land, and so on. We have also the noun “having, havings” = possessions.

There is a common French phrase avoir du poids (to be weight), with which our word avoirdupois has been muddled up.


“Pared my present havings [property] to bestow

My bounties upon you.”


Shakespeare: Henry VIII., iii. 2.


“One of your having, and yet cark and care.”


Musesʹ Looking Glass.


Even medicines, as wholesale goods, are bought and sold by avoirdupois weight.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Avenger of Blood (The)
Avernus (Greek, a-ornis, “without a bird”)
Avertin (St.)
Avesta
Aveugle
Avienus
A vinculo matrimonii (Latin)
Aviz
Avoid Etxremes
Avoir
Avoirdupois
A-weather
Awkward
Awkward Squad
Awl
Axe
Axinomancy
Ayah (Anglo-Indian)
Ayeshah
Ayrshire Poet
Azazel

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