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"Definition 2" of the verb is just the usual (but dying) rule for the subjunctive. I'm not sure how best to clean this up, so I'm marking it rfc.

It's an irregular subjunctive, so it's worth its own definition. I've reworded it. Colin 23:33, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)


Missing the Scots definition (see werian).--达伟 14:41, 22 December 2009 (UTC)


Northern England "was"[edit]

It says that "were" means "was" in the North of England. Are you sure? Actually I think that the Northern English are the best at using "was" and "were" when they should. The conditional tense should take "were". In most of the English-speaking world, people say "was". e.g. "I wish I was dead", "I think it was your job", etc. The North of England is about the only place where the average person says "were" rather than "was". I think that somebody's got confused with this entry. Should it be deleted 19:34, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

I think it might have been referring to the use of "were" in place of "was" as the past tense rather than the conditional. It's a trait of Yorkshire English to use "were" as such. 12:32, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

RFV discussion: August 2017[edit]

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"(archaic) man (human male), as in werewolf (man-wolf)"

  • The part were in werewolf might etymologically mean man, but that doesn't attest a New English word were meaning man.
  • By "as in werewolf" it might be the same as were-. And then were- could be the more correct lemma.
  • Webster 1913 ([1]) has "Were (wēr), n. [... Cf. Weregild, and Werewolf.] 1. A man. [Obs.] [...]" but without example. Maybe it's just the part were as in weregild and werewolf which doesn't attest a New English word were meaning man.

- 23:43, 21 August 2017 (UTC)

I'm not sure this is what we are looking for, but I put in some quotes that use "were wolf" or "were gild" -- that is, where the "were-" is not a prefix, but a separate word. That seems to be what this definition is looking for. Finding a quote where were is used on its own to mean man outside these combinations has proved extremely difficult to search for, because there are so many other more common uses of the word, and when I get to works old enough to have a chance of containing such a use, the spelling is so flexible that I am finding lots of other words, such as ware. Kiwima (talk) 03:08, 22 August 2017 (UTC)

It could be were or several terms like were wolf, were gild. For me it's good enough. Thank you were much.
I changed the example from "as in werewolf" (which could be were- + wolf or from ME werewolf) to "as in were wolf" (which can not be analysed as were- + wolf and which is spelled differently than NE werewolf, werwolf, ME werwolf) - 16:13, 23 August 2017 (UTC)