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 avoir dupois 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.”
Muses' Looking Glass
Even medicines, as wholesale goods, are bought and sold by
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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