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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 2001 (DOST Vol. X).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Swing, Swinge, Swyng(e, n. [Late ME and e.m.E. swynge (?a1400), swinge, swyng (c1400), swing (a1568), OE -ᵹeswing or f. Swing,v.]

1. A swinging blow with a weapon. 1375 Barb. xv 188.
He … roucht him sic a swyng That he till erd ȝeid hastely

b. The action of swinging a golf club so as to hit the ball. 1687 Bk. Old Edinb. C. XXVII 132.
[Do not] turn down your left shoulder and up your right in bringing back the club, thinking therby to give the club a larger swinge and so incresse its force

c. The arc of movement of the pendulum in a clock, determined as short or large by the type of escapement used. 1701 Arch. Scot. I 181.
A pendulum clock, with a large and short swing

2. A ship's mooring rope. Also comb. with tow. 1580 Edinb. Test. VIII 241.
Fyve nettis, … ane swing, ane billie raip and fyve peice of small lyne
1627 Edinb. Test. LIV 141.
Tua cobillis with thair ankeris swingis & nettis
1667 Edinb. Test. LXXIII 107.
Twa old small coble ankers with twa old burrupes and swinges
1690 E. Fife Admir. Depute Ct. Bk. 6 Aug.
That noe dreaver shall cutt ane other mans tolls witters byrops or swings
comb. 1602 Shetland Sheriff Ct. (ed.) 22.
[They] ar dempt to quyt themselffis with thair boitsmen of the stowtht of ane swing tow

3. In-to a swyng, suddenly. 1375 Barb. xvii 574.
Quhen sic abasing Tuk thame … in-to a swyng, Thai gaf the bak all, and to-ga

4. To beir the swing, to have the upper hand; to dominate, have control. Also in fig. context.[Cf. e.m.E. swynge (1531) sway, power.] 1565 Reg. Privy C. I 370.
Now … sall we be brocht bak to the stait of pupillis and minoris or be put undir tutele. Sa lang as sum of thame [sc. the rebels] buir the haill swynge with us thame selffis, this mater wes nevir callit in questioun
1570 Sat. P. xi 49.
Throw thé is kendlit ciuill weir, Throw thé murther wald beir the swing
1570 Sat. P. xi 93.
Quhen murtherars the swinge sall beir, And from ȝour natiue land ȝow chace

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"Swing n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Apr 2024 <>



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