Swag to Sweepstakes

Swag Luggage, knapsack, a bundle; also food carried about one. Swag-shop, a store of minor, or cheap- priced goods. (Scotch, sweg.)

“[Palliser] began to retrace the way by which he had fled and, descending carefully to the spot where he had thrown off his swag, found it as he had left it.”- Watson: The Web of the Spider. chap. v.
Swag Plenty. Rhyming slang: A bag-full means plenty, and by omitting full, “bag” remains to rhyme with swag. (See Chivy. )

Swagger Bluster; noisy boasting.

Swainmote (See Swanimote. )

Swallow According to Scandinavian tradition, this bird hovered over the cross of our Lord, crying “Svala! svala!” (Console! console!) whence it was called svalow (the bird of consolation). (See Christian Traditions. )
   The swallow is said to bring home from the sea-shore a stone which gives sight to her fledglings.

“Seeking with eager eyes that wondrous stone which the swallow
Brings from the shore of the sea to restore the sight of its fledglings.”
Longfellow: Evangeline, part i.
   It is lucky for a swallow to build about one's house. This is a Roman superstition. Ælian says that the swallow was sacred to the Penates or household gods, and therefore to injure one would be to bring wrath upon your own house.
   It is unlucky to kill a swallow.

“Perhaps you failed in your foreseeing skill,
For swallows are unlucky birds to kill.”
Dryden: Hind and Panther, part iii.
   One swallow does not make spring. You are not to suppose winter is past because you have seen a swallow; nor that the troubles of life are over because you have surmounted one difficulty.

Swan Fionnuala, daughter of Lir, was transformed into a swan, and condemned to wander for many hundred years over the lakes and rivers of Ireland till the introduction of Christianity into that island. T. Moore has a poem entitled The Song of Fionnuala. (Irish Melodies, No. 11.)
   The male swan is called a cob, the female a pen; a young swan is called a cygnet.
   Swan. Erman says of the Cygnus olor, “This bird, when wounded, pours forth its last breath in notes most beautifully clear and loud.” (Travels in Siberia, translated by Cooley, vol. ii.)
   Emilia says, “I will play the swan, and die in music.” (Othello, v. 2.)

“ `What is that, mother?' `The swan, my love.
He is floating down to his native grove ...
Death darkens his eyes and unplumes his wings,
Yet the sweetest song is the last he sings.
Live so, my son, that when death shall come,
Swan-like and sweet, it may waft thee home.' ”
Dr. G. Doane.
   Swan. Mr. Nicol says of the Cygnus musicus that its note resembles the tones of a violin, though somewhat higher. Each note occurs after a long interval. The music presages a thaw in Iceland, and hence one of its great charms.
   Swan. A nickname for a blackamoor. (See Lucus A Non Lucendo.)

“Ethiopem vocamus cygnum.”
Juvenal, viii. 32.
   A black swan. A curiosity, a rara avis. The expression is borrowed from the well known verse- “Rara avis in terris, nigroque simillima cycno.”

“ `What! is it my rara avis, my black swan?' ”- Sir Walter Scott: The Antiquary.
Swan Swan, a public- house sign, like the peacock and pheasant, was an emblem of the parade of chivalry. Every knight chose one of these birds, which was associated in his oath with God, the Virgin, or his lady-love. Hence their use as public-house signs.
   The White Swan, a public-house sign, is in compliment to Anne of Cleves, descended from the Knight of the Swan.
   Swan with Two Necks. A corruption of “Swan with Two Nicks.” The Vintners' Company mark their swans with two nicks in the beak.
   N.B. Royal swans are marked with five nicks- two lengthwise, and three across the bill.

Swan-hopping A corruption of Swan Upping- that is, taking the swans up the River Thames for the purpose of marking them. (See above.)

  By PanEris using Melati.

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