Do we know how "gu" was pronounced in Norman French ? Is it possible that "gu" was pronounced rather like "w" at that time ?Most Romance languages that took on Germanic vocabulary that started with "w" developed a "gu" sound. Guerra, guerrero, guardian, guardar, etc... in Spanish are cognates to English (Anglo Saxon) warden, ward, etc...
The title of this thread is... a bit peculiar...Etymology: Middle English werre, warre, from Old North French werre, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German werra confusion, strife; akin to Old High German werran to confuse, Latin verrere to sweep, and perhaps to Greek errhein to go, go to ruin
There is a phonetic connection between "w" and "gu". I don't know about Norman French pronunciation--especially of the 11th Century, but in Spanish "gue" does come near the English pronunciation of "w"--it's not exactly the same of course. So, that is evidence from one Romance language. Interestingly, for Spanish speaking learners of English pronouncing "good" and "would" as two distinct words is VERY difficult. So, there definitely is a natural progression/connection between "w" and "gu".
There exists the rare Homeric verb «ἔῤῥω, ϝέῤῥω» ('ěrrhō, 'wěrrhō)-->to go with pain or difficulty, go or come to one's own harm...I don't think there is a Gr. v. errhein with the above mentioned meaning.
Hmmm... This argument would make sense for a language like Spanish which doesn't have a native /w/. But French is full of native /w/s. For your argument to be valid you would have to show that all /w/s spelled <gu> have been imported in a period where French or its predecessor didn't have any /w/s.I think that the problem for Romance speakers with [w] is that [w] is coarticulated. We as English speakers don't hear the velar component because it's so subtle, however a Spanish speaker readily does and has difficulty sometimes knowing how to replicate it. I've heard "why" pronounces [guai] and "water" pronounced [guater] or perhaps more like [ɣuai] and [ɣuater] but [ɣ] has no choice but to be transcribed as "g" in Spanish (I mean the approximant here, not the fricative).