- warp (v.)
- "to bend, twist, distort," Old English weorpan "to throw, throw away, hit with a missile," from Proto-Germanic *werpan "to fling by turning the arm" (cognates: Old Saxon werpan, Old Norse verpa "to throw," Swedish värpa "to lay eggs," Old Frisian werpa, Middle Low German and Dutch werpen, German werfen, Gothic wairpan "to throw"), from PIE *werp- "to turn, wind, bend" (cognates: Latin verber "whip, rod;" Greek rhabdos "rod," rhombos "magic wheel"), from root *wer- (3) "to turn, bend" (see versus).
Connection between "turning" and "throwing" is perhaps in the notion of rotating the arm in the act of throwing; compare Old Church Slavonic vrešti "to throw," from the same PIE root. The meaning "twist out of shape" is first recorded c. 1400; intransitive sense is from mid-15c. Related: Warped; warping.
- warp (n.)
- "threads running lengthwise in a fabric," Old English wearp, from Proto-Germanic *warpo- (cognates: Middle Low German warp, Old High German warf "warp," Old Norse varp "cast of a net"), from PIE *werp- "to turn, bend" (see warp (v.)). The warp of fabric is that across which the woof is "thrown." Applied in 20c. astrophysics to the "fabric" of space-time, popularized in noun phrase warp speed by 1960s TV series "Star Trek."