1650s, misspelling (with French du for de) of Middle English avoir-de-peise, the Norman form of Old French avoir de pois "goods of weight" (equivalent to Medieval Latin averia ponderis), from aveir "property, goods" (noun use of aveir "have," from Latin habere; from PIE root *ghabh- "to give or receive") + peis "weight," from Latin pensum, neuter of pendere "to hang, cause to hang; weigh; pay" (from PIE root *(s)pen- "to draw, stretch, spin").
The oldest sense in English is "goods sold by weight" (early 14c.); from late 15c. as a system of weights in which 1 pound = 16 ounces. Introduced into England from Bayonne, from late 15c. it was the standard system of weights used in England for all goods except precious metals, precious stones, and medicine.
Web design and development by MaoningTech.