Green’s Dictionary of Slang

swinge v.

[SE swinge, to beat, to castigate]

1. to drink up, to drink off.

[UK]Skelton Elynour Rummynge line 568: Any wyth that she begynnes The pot to her plucke, And dranke a good lucke. She swynged up a quarte At ones for her parte.
[UK]B. Googe Popish Kingdome IV 48: The meate deuour they up, That is before them set, and cleane they swinge of euery cup.
[UK]Behn False Count IV i: Your Citizens Wives simper and sip, and will be drunk without doing Credit to the Treater; but in their Closets they swinge it away, whole Slashes i’faith.

2. (also switch, switchel) to have sexual intercourse (with); thus switcheled adj; also n.

[UK]Beaumont & Fletcher Beggar’s Bush III i: Give her cold jelly, / To take up her belly, / And once a day swinge her again.
[UK]T. Duffet Mock-Tempest II ii: Shrieks as of switcheld lass I heard.
[UK]Dryden Kind Keeper IV i: Here he comes that will swinge you all.
[UK]Leacherous Anabaptist in Williams Dict. Sexual Lang. (1994) III 1349: [He] Endeavour’d to Switchel her upon the Sabbath.
[UK] ‘Assembly at Kensington’ Harleian Mss. 7315.267: At the Quality Bawdy house he meets his fullocks / Where he never fails to swinge her Buttocks.
[UK]Bridges Homer Travestie (2nd edn) I 106: Let a brave man switch her, Nor think that I can like a scrub That any lousy rogue can drub.
[UK]‘Apollo & Daphne’ in Capt. Morris’s Songs in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) III 224: Odsbobs, I must swinge thee my joy and my honey.
[US]Whip & Satirist of NY & Brooklyn (NY) 21 May n.p.: ‘If couldn’t beat you [...] I would live on switchel for life’.

In derivatives

swingeing (adj.) (also swindging) [SE swinge, to beat; SE in 20C+, typically as swingeing cuts in the health budget]

a general intensifier, very large, very forceful, very powerful; 17C use often describing venereal disease.

[UK]Behn Lucky Chance III v: I shall recover swingeing damages with a City jury.
[UK]Female Wits II i: I’ll be hanged if it don’t bring a swingeing audience on the third day.
[UK]Swift Journal to Stella 13 Nov. (2004) 238: I was sick on Sunday, and now have got a swingeing cold.
[UK]C. Coffey Devil to Pay I ii: I’ll bring up the rear with a swindging Turkey Pie.
[UK]Witchcraft of Love 59: A great swingeing Dog, as big as old Hobson’s Stonehorse, claps his two Paws on my Shoulders, and stares me in the Face.
[US]J.K. Paulding John Bull in America 47: I paid my bill [...] in truth it was a most swingeing one.
[UK]Satirist (London) 8 May 38/1: [A]dvice is to be given gratis every morning (Sundays excepted). Hook says it will be ‘a swinge-ing concern’ .
[US]T. Haliburton Clockmaker I 37: A swingeing big Pig, that weighed some six or seven hundred weight.
[UK]Leeds Intelligencer 30 Dec. 8/3: [headline] More ‘Swingeing’ Rates in Leeds.
[UK]C. Kingsley Two Years Ago I 194: I never told you of it, old pill and potion, for fear of a swingeing bill.
[Scot]Dundee Courier 11 Feb. 2/2: If they give me swingeing damages, my Starr, won’t you be done!
C.D. Warner Blacklog Studies 264: A placid, calm, swingeing cold night [F&H].
[UK]Staffs. Sentinel 24 Feb. 3/1: Ninety-seven is a good swingeing majority.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 22 Jan. 5/4: It has been remarked that, with the death of Jeffrey […] the ‘swingeing’ criticisms which [...] were wont to gladden the hearts of our forefathers, gave way to the more ‘paternal’ style of reviewing.
[UK]Leeds Times 22 Jan. 7/6: A swingeing bill for dinner.
[UK]Gloucester Citizen 14 Aug. 4/4: A swingeing tax might be relied on to do the rest — or fill the exchequer.
[UK]J. Poller Reach 18: It is hard to express here the swingeing contempt I felt for them.
[UK]Guardian 4 May 34: The penalties for [...] involvement in drugs are swingeing.

In compounds

swinge-bow (n.) [he wields a ‘bow’ so as to shoot his ‘arrow’]

a sexual athlete.

[UK]C. Cotton Burlesque 83: Is the old Letcher still so tough, A Swinge-bow of so high renown, A Wench can’t sooner take him down?

In phrases