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From Middle English swiven, from Old English swīfan ‎(to move, sweep, wend, revolve), from Proto-Germanic *swībaną ‎(to wipe, sweep), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)weyp-, *(s)weyb- ‎(to twist, wind around, swing, sweep, bend). Cognate with Old Frisian swīva, swīfa ‎(to waver), Old Norse svīfa ‎(to drift, ramble, rove). Related to Old English swift ‎(swift), Middle English swyvel ‎(swivel).



swive ‎(third-person singular simple present swives, present participle swiving, simple past and past participle swived)

  1. (transitive) To copulate with (a woman).
    • c.1674, John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, A Satyr on Charles II
      'Tis sure the sauciest prick that e'er did swive
    • 2005, Sophia B. Johnson, Risk Everything:
      “You were in such heat to swive me, you tore the clothes from your body.”
    • 2008, Sarah McKerrigan, Lady Danger:
      He didn't intend to swive her here in the tiltyard, did he? Surely he was not so heathen as that.
    • 2009, Bernard Cornwell, Gallows Thief:
      His mother was a holy damned fool and swiving her was like rogering a prayerful mouse, and the bloody fool thinks he's taken after her, but he hasn't.
  2. (transitive, dialectal) To cut a crop in a sweeping or rambling manner, hence to reap; cut for harvest.
    • 1815, Walter Davies, Board of Agriculture, Agricultural Surveys: pts. 1-2. South Wales (1815), page 426
      The cradled scythes of the Vale of Towey were scarcely known in the Vale of Teivy; and the swiving method of reaping wheat in the latter, was as little known in the former ...
    • 1815, Walter Davies, Board of Agriculture, General view of the agriculture and domestic economy of South Wales, Volume 1, page 425
      Swiving is a method first adopted apparently in Cardiganshire ...
    • 1905, Joseph Wright, English Dialect Dictionary, page 893
      swive ... to cut grain or beans with a broad hook; to mow with a reaping-hook ... "swiver": a reaper who "swives" the grain
    • 1929, Mary Gladys Meredith Webb, Precious Bane
      We started swiving, that is reaping, at the beginning of August-month, and we left the stooks [stalks] standing in the fields ...
    • 1955, Ceredigion Historical Society, Ceredigion: Journal of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Association - Volumes 2-3, page 160
      Moreover, according to Walter Davies "swiving" was a method of reaping first adopted in Cardiganshire.

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