One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Chiefly in plural Small items of haberdashery; items of tape, cord, braid, etc. Occasionally in singular used collectively.
2Usually in plural (chiefly North American) Any small manufactured items; (in later use) specifically kitchen utensils. Occasionally in singular used collectively.
3In singular used collectively and in plural In extended use: minor or ephemeral productions.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in John Rastell. From small + ware.
small ware/ˈsmɔːl wɛː/
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