One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
verb[with object]archaic, humorous
Have sexual intercourse with.
- ‘Each slave laid hold of a damsel [and swived her] and another slave [came forth and] did the like with the queen; and when they had done their occasions, they all returned whence they came.’
- ‘Phyllis, lying on her side, throws her leg over the thigh of the gallant who, stretched on the couch facing her, is swiving her; at the same time offering her buttocks to her other lover.’
- ‘Dr Poynting said swiving was a 17th century word for sex, found in the erotic verses of the Earl of Rochester, and was equivalent in those days to the crudest modern swear words.’
- ‘Ragnor Magnusson was in the midst of swiving the most beautiful woman in all the Norselands, and he was bored.’
- ‘And all the pretty little girls that our heroes swived were just being lied to and used.’
Middle English: apparently from the Old English verb swīfan ‘move (along a course), sweep’.
Top tips for CV writingRead more
In this article we explore how to impress employers with a spot-on CV.