Warred, warring, wars


While continuing my voluntary English-proverb-excursion (‘dog-eat(…)-dog’, hi, Amy :)), I’ve encountered
Wolf never wars against wolf.
It seems to be not a pure proverb, but that doesn’t matter in this topic. :slight_smile:

My question is about to war.
The verb can be found in all dictionaries – even in small ones - as the third/forth meaning for war.

With war[color=red]ring as a gerund and warred as the Past Participle form.


Mr. Google, after listing of just a few links for warring says

And in response to the warred-request firstly asks cautiously:


Hmm. What’s wrong? (and where… :lol:)
Could you give some comments about actual use of war as a verb?

Hi Tamara

I’d say you’ll basically only see the verb war in the present participle form (warring). I can’t remember ever having heard it used any other way.

The expression “Wolf never wars against wolf.” is new for me, too. :wink:
Where are you getting these expressions from?


I found it entertaining (in the dictionary link) that the word war and the German word “Wurst” (sausage) have a common root. :lol:

Thank you, Amy.

By the way, Google seems to be a bit more tolerant to warred than to warring. (Not in terms of numbers-of-use, but… in the general reaction itself :slight_smile: )
Whereas BNC is rather indifferent - both (‘warred’ and ‘warring’) are acceptable.

But to me it (actual use of the verb, I mean) is quite surprising.

They are parts of explanations of some English proverbs for Russians by giving some equivalent sayings or idioms.

In this case (‘Wolf …’) - for ‘There is honour among thieves’ and for ‘Hawk will not pick out hawk’s eyes.’.

P.S. By the way, ultimately I’ve found a reference to that ‘The mouse lordships where a cat is not’.
15th century. :slight_smile:

I’ve looked at the Google results. I get a couple of references to the “Waring Company” on the first page, but other than that, it looks like most of the 5 million results are for warring. :shock:

For “warred”, the BNC results all look literary and there were only 14 results. (Actually, I’m surprised there were even that many. :lol:)
Warring” had 194 results and the usages all look much more “normal” to me (i.e., not like some romance novelist looking for words to use that no normal person ever uses. :lol:)

Now, there’s one I’ve heard. (But when I hear it, there’s a “u” missing…;))

That’s very similar to something I’ve heard in German.

Ahhh… That explains why I hadn’t heard it? But it certainly seems to be quite true. I know my cats are excellent “mouse police”. :smiley:


peace, not war :slight_smile: :wink:


By any chance I’ve met warly - one more word from this stange family…