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WERE. The name of a fine among the Saxons imposed upon a murderer.
     2. The life of every man, not excepting that of the king himself, was estimated at a certain price, which was called the were, or vestimatio capitis. The amount varied according to the dignity of the person murdered. The price of wounds was also varied according to the nature of the wound, or the member injured.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
The developmeat of w- to gw- in Welsh was not complete until after the start of the eighth ceatury, and no evidence shows Welsh gw- was perceived in English before that (Old English ia any case lacked an exact equivaleat of gw-).(9) The developmeat of i > e in Old English is easily explained through back mutation.(10) As that took place late in the prehistoric period, and Brittonic final syllables were not lost until the end of the fifth ceatury, it is likely that wered, if from Celtic, is a sixth-ceatury borrowing.
Yet there is a major objection to the above, as least as regards Beowulf 496, ia an interpretation of scir wered which has gained ground since 1967.
Hence, in the context of heroic verse and of a derivatioa of wered from Celtic, it is the original translatioa of sceacte scir wered ~he poured out bright liquor' which makes better sense.