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Unknown etymology, 1813.[1] Original sense “alcoholic drink”, possibly a variant of switchel (a drink of molasses and water, often mixed with rum), attested 1790, itself of uncertain origin.[2] Possibly influenced by fizz.

In verb sense “to stir”, from swizzle stick (stick for stirring alcoholic drinks), itself attested 1859.


  • IPA(key): /ˈswɪzəl/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪzəl


swizzle (countable and uncountable, plural swizzles)

  1. Any of various kinds of alcoholic drink.
  2. Alternative form of switchel (drink based on water and vinegar)

Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]


swizzle (third-person singular simple present swizzles, present participle swizzling, simple past and past participle swizzled)

  1. To stir or mix.
    She swizzled the milk into her coffee.
  2. (computer graphics) To permute bits, or elements of a vector.
  3. (programming, transitive) To convert portable symbols or positions to memory-dependent pointers during deserialization.
  4. (programming, Objective-C, transitive) To change a class's dispatch table in order to resolve messages from an existing selector to a new implementation.
    Hypernym: monkey patch
    • 2016, David Thiel, iOS Application Security: The Definitive Guide for Hackers and Developers, No Starch Press, →ISBN, page 25:
      If you or a loved one want to implement method swizzling, you may want to consider using a fairly well-tested wrapper package, such as JRSwizzle. Apple may reject applications that appear to use method swizzling in a dangerous way.
  5. To drink; to swill.
    • 1958, Baynard Kendrick, Reservations for Death:
      I checked it all over after Mona got in, while you were swizzling beer in that saloon.



  1. ^ swizzle”, in Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, 1996–present.
  2. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2023), “swizzle”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.

Further reading[edit]