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From Middle English swinkere, equivalent to swink +‎ -er.


swinker (plural swinkers)

  1. (archaic or dialectal) A toiler; a labourer.
    • 1845, Thomas Ignatius M. Forster, Richard Gough, Epistolarium:
      Ye are twin swinkers in this nether field One to prolong, the other to expand, My landmark and my clock; but both must yield, To the destroying angel's flaming wand, [...]
    • 1891, Harper's magazine - Volume 83 - Page 786:
      Tosspots and swinkers were they then; tosspots and swinkers are they still.
    • 2010, Eileen Power, Medieval English Nunneries:
      [...] whether they were quizzed by "those idle gallants who haunt taverns, gay and handsome," or hobnobbed with "travellers and tinkers, sweaters and swinkers," the alehouse was assuredly no place for nuns.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Chaucer to this entry?)

Related terms[edit]

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.