A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)
Swingeo(u)r, Swenȝour, n. Also: swinȝeour, swingour, -er(e, swyngeo(u)r, swyngour, -er, suinge(o)r, swengeour, swenger, sweingeour, sweyngeour, sueinscheor, swongeour, swonjour, swounger, swng(e)our, soingour, sumgeour, schonger. [? Early Flem. swentsen to roam, e.m.Germ. schwänzer an unemployed person, an idler, f. schwänzen to go about (aimlessly), travel. Also in the later dial. Cf., however, Swing v. 5.] An idler or layabout; a disreputable ruffian or scoundrel.
(a) Ȝour burgh of beggeris is ane nest, To schout thai swenȝouris will nocht rest; Dunb. (STS) lxxxii 44.
Swevynnys ar for swengeouris [Ruddim. swevyngeouris] that slummyrris nocht weill; Doug. viii Prol. 171.
(b) Swengeouris and scurryvagis, swankeis and swanys, Gevis no cur to cun craft; Doug. viii Prol. 68.
In to the hieland I could fynd no remeid; … Tha sweir swyngeoris thay tuke of me non heid; Lynd. Dreme 962.
Brokin men that hereit, reft and staw, And murdereris … And sueir swyngeouris that haue [na] will to wirk; Stewart 43472.
I marvell not … Suppois that swyngeour [sc. the Soutar] nevir swyve; He is baith cawld & dry; Lynd. Sat. 2162.
Swinȝeour [H. swingeor]; Polwart Flyt. 786 (T).
Sir Suingeor, seing I want wairres And salues, to slaik thé of thy saires; Polwart Flyt. 229 (H).
Dispersoning of Johnne Scherare … in calling him base borne swyngour; 1608 Stirling B. Rec. I 120.
Swingour; J. Row Red-Shankes Serm. 5.
(c) Sweingeour, cum, sweir the saikles sone; 1567 Sempill in Sat. P. viii 31.
Robert Chamber said Androw Man was lyker a theiffis geit then get a blind sueinscheor; 1627 Elgin Kirk S. 203.
(d) If I were charged by any such devilish devices, I wold refuse no deboshed swinger or bloody villaine that should be so suborned; 1600 Crim. Trials II 314.
Be injuring, calling him swynger, knawe; 1605 Aberd. B. Rec. II 277.
That swinger the thesaurer hes so columniat the haill estates to his majestie, that [etc.]; 1640 T. Hope Diary 115.
Harie Rankeine come fra a stak with a fork to Robert Russell and … bad him away false suinger; 1644 Falkirk Baron Ct. 29 Oct.
Swingere; Polemo-Mid. 135.
We had gotten a swinger set up in the pulpit now to raill on the people; 1650 Culross I 245.
He called him knave and swinger; Calderwood VII 539.
‘Sweith away!’ said the bishop, as if he had been speaking to a dogge: ‘Pack, you swinger!’ Calderwood VII 540.
A swinger [marg. a bold insinuating sharper] won'd about the court A lown of very ill report … Knaw'n by the name of Ignoramus; G. Stuart Joco-Ser. Disc. 28.
(e) Sueir swongeouris that will not wirk; c1540 Glencairn in
Knox I 73.
Swounger; 1613 Reg. Privy C. X 3.
Grand gorie lipper, swonjour, that thov art, I sall hawe a mendis of the ather by slicht or be micht; 1619 Elgin Rec. II 161.
(f) In calling of him kairle, soingour, knaiff and sneik; 1606 Inverness Rec. II 40.
(g) Scho said … that scho waild nocht haiff sick ane swngour as me to be hir bairnes father; 1619 Perth Kirk S. MS 31 Aug.
(h) Thair is a heid of the Kirk maid … a excommunicat sumgeour, a excommunicat willane quha sall never be obeyit heir; 1584 Cal. Sc. P. VII 227.
(i) Upbraiding of the said baillie with mony injurious … speiches, calling him ‘skable and deboishit schonger’; 1609 Reg. Privy C. VIII 787.
attrib. Johne Innes wrangit in the calling of Nicoll Moressone swenger carle and birsyn carle; 1541–2 Elgin Rec. I 68.
Ane swyngeour coife amangis the wyvis, In land-wart dwellis with subteill menis; Pedder C. 17.
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"Swingeo(u)r n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Feb 2019 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/swingeour>
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