This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.



Monday, 26 March 2018

Spot the Frippet: swag.

A thief's takings are called swag:

File:Mcol money bag.svg
illustration by mcol

and so, in Australia and New Zealand, is the pack carried by a travelling workman.

A water-filled depression cause by subsidence over a mine is a swag, and so is a deliberately droopy bit of curtain:

File:Curtains lo-res.jpg
these, amazingly, were carved in wood by the furniture company Chippendale. Photo by Ivorpics

A festoon of flowers is a swag, too:

File:Gaspar Peeter Verbruggen (II) - A swag of flowers.jpg
painting by Gaspar Peeter Verbruggen the Younger

So what's the connection between all those?

Spot the Frippet: swag. This word appeared in the 1600s, perhaps from Scandinavia. The Norwegian svagga means to sway.


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