One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In Germany and German-speaking countries: a pub landlord, an innkeeper.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in ‘George Eliot’ (1819–1880), novelist (real name Mary Ann Evans). From German Wirt, † Wirth pub landlord, innkeeper, host, cognate with Old Frisian -werda (in compound hūswerda host, head of a household), Middle Dutch weert, waert, wert (Dutch waard), Old Saxon werd (Middle Low German werd, wert), Gothic waírdus; further etymology uncertain.
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