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Adult swans and a swanling


From swan +‎ -ling, formed by analogy with duckling, gosling, etc. Compare German Schwänlein.


swanling (plural swanlings)

  1. A young or baby swan; a cygnet.
    • 2004, Pauline Somers, Dreams Within Dreams:
      Suddenly I feel myself become small as a swanling, tucked into the swan's feathers.
    • 2007, Hubert Schuurman, People of the Swan:
      Slim ran over to the pond and unleashed the excited swanlings. They followed Moose and Slim to a quiet backwash of the river and glided gracefully into the water. Moose sat down on a little hillock and listened to Slim talking to the swanlings.
    • 2011, Jack Zipes, The Enchanted Screen:
      The narrative concerns a female duck who hatches four dark ducklings, and when the fifth turns out to be a white “swanling,” the father duck more or less accuses his wife of adultery.
    • 2011, Gail Steinberg, Beth Hall, Inside Transracial Adoption:
      Bruno Bettelheim What this is really about is how you and your own dear swanling can rest securely in the feeling of belonging together when you experience daily life differently because others treat you differently.
    • 2015, Betina Lindsey, Swan Bride: The Swan Maiden Trilogy - Book One:
      So close, swanling, do not hesitate. Her eyes went to the sun hanging between night and day and then to Wulfsun. I cannot leave him to such a fate. Without me, he is a dead man.

Usage notes[edit]

Most dictionaries do not list this word (as of 2013); the usual term is cygnet.


Related terms[edit]