Old English we, first person plural pronoun, "I and another or others," from Proto-Germanic *wejes (source also of Old Saxon wi, Old Norse ver, Danish vi, Old Frisian wi, Dutch wij, Old High German and German wir, Gothic weis "we"), from PIE *we- (source also of Sanskrit vayam, Old Persian vayam, Hittite wesh "we," Old Church Slavonic ve "we two," Lithuanian vedu "we two").
The "royal we" (use of plural pronoun to denote oneself) is at least as old as "Beowulf" (c.725); use by writers to establish an impersonal style is also from Old English; it was especially common 19c. in unsigned editorials, to suggest staff consensus, and was lampooned as such at least since 1853 (see wegotism).
wē-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to blow."
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit va-, Greek aemi-, Gothic waian, Old English wawan, Old High German wajan, German wehen, Old Church Slavonic vejati "to blow;" Sanskrit vatah, Avestan vata-, Hittite huwantis, Latin ventus, Old English wind, German Wind, Gothic winds, Old Church Slavonic vetru, Lithuanian vėjas "wind;" Lithuanian vėtra "tempest, storm;" Old Irish feth "air;" Welsh gwynt, Breton gwent "wind."
also Nirvana, Nirwana, 1836, in Buddhism, "the condition of a Buddha," from Sanskrit nirvana-s "extinction, disappearance" (of the individual soul into the universal), literally "to blow out, a blowing out" ("not transitively, but as a fire ceases to draw" [Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy, "Hinduism and Buddhism," 1943]; a literal Latinization would be de-spiration), from nis-, nir- "out" + va- "to blow" (from PIE root *we- "to blow"). Figurative sense of "perfect bliss" is from 1895.
late 14c., "emit from a confined space," probably a shortening of aventer "expose oneself to the air" (c. 1300), from Old French eventer "let out, expose to air," from Vulgar Latin *exventare, from Latin ex "out" + ventus "wind" (from PIE *wē-nt-o‑ "blowing," suffixed (participial) form of root *we- "to blow").
Sense of "express freely" first recorded 1590s. Sense of "divulge, publish" (1590s) is behind phrase vent one's spleen (see spleen). Related: Vented; venting.
early 15c., "to scatter, disperse (as the wind does)," from Latin ventilatus, past participle of ventilare "to brandish, toss in the air, winnow, fan, agitate, set in motion," from ventulus "a breeze," diminutive of ventus "wind" (from PIE *wē-nt-o‑ "blowing," suffixed (participial) form of root *we- "to blow").
Original notion is of cleaning grain by tossing it in the air and letting the wind blow away the chaff. Meaning "supply a room with fresh air" first recorded 1743, a verbal derivative of ventilation. Formerly with diverse slang senses, including "shoot" (someone), recorded from 1875, on the notion of "make holes in." Related: Ventilated; ventilating.
Old English ge, nominative plural of 2nd person pronoun þu (see thou); cognate with Old Frisian ji, Old Saxon gi, Middle Dutch ghi, Dutch gij. Cognate with Lithuanian jūs, Sanskrit yuyam, Avestan yuzem, Greek hymeis.
Altered, by influence of we, from an earlier form that was similar to Gothic jus "you (plural)" (see you). The -r- in Old Norse er, German ihr probably is likewise from influence of their respective 1st person plural pronouns (Old Norse ver, German wir).
late 12c., wenge, "forelimb fitted for flight of a bird or bat," also the part of some insects resembling a wing in form or function, from Old Norse vængr "wing of a bird, aisle, etc." (cognate with Danish and Swedish vinge "wing"), of unknown origin, perhaps from a Proto-Germanic *we-ingjaz, suffixed form of PIE root *we- "blow" (source of Old English wawan "to blow." Replaced Old English feðra (plural) "wings" (see feather). The meaning "either of two divisions of a political party, army, etc." is first recorded c. 1400; theatrical sense is from 1790.
The slang sense of earn (one's) wings is 1940s, from the wing-shaped badges awarded to air cadets on graduation. To be under (someone's) wing "protected by (someone)" is recorded from early 13c. Phrase on a wing and a prayer is title of a 1943 song about landing a damaged aircraft.
Old English weder "air, sky; breeze, storm, tempest," from Proto-Germanic *wedra- "wind, weather" (source also of Old Saxon wedar, Old Norse veðr, Old Frisian, Middle Dutch, Dutch weder, Old High German wetar, German Wetter "storm, wind, weather"), traditionally said to be from PIE *we-dhro-, "weather" (source also of Lithuanian vėtra "storm," Old Church Slavonic vedro "good weather"), suffixed form of root *we- "to blow." But Boutkan finds this "problematic from a formal point of view" and finds only the Slavic word a likely cognate.
Greek had words for "good weather" (aithria, eudia) and words for "storm" and "winter," but no generic word for "weather" until kairos (literally "time") began to be used as such in Byzantine times. Latin tempestas "weather" (see tempest) also originally meant "time;" and words for "time" also came to mean weather in Irish (aimsir), Serbo-Croatian (vrijeme), Polish (czas), etc. Weather-report is from 1863. Weather-breeder "fine, serene day which precedes and seems to prepare a storm" is from 1650s.
Surnames Fairweather, Merriweather probably reflect disposition; medieval lists and rolls also include Foulweder, Wetweder, Strangweder.