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[swing-guh l] /ˈswɪŋ gəl/
a swipple.
a wooden instrument shaped like a large knife, for beating flax or hemp and scraping from it the woody or coarse portions.
verb (used with object), swingled, swingling.
to clean (flax or hemp) by beating and scraping with a swingle.
Origin of swingle1
1275-1325; Middle English swingel, Old English swingell rod (cognate with Middle Dutch swinghel), equivalent to swing- (see swing1) + -el instrumental suffix (see -le)
Related forms
unswingled, adjective


[swing-guh l] /ˈswɪŋ gəl/
noun, Slang.
a single person who is highly active socially and sexually; an unmarried person who swings.
1965-70, Americanism; blend of swing1 ( def 19 ) and single Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for swingle


a flat-bladed wooden instrument used for beating and scraping flax or hemp to remove coarse matter from it
(transitive) to use a swingle on
Word Origin
Old English swingel stroke; related to Middle High German swüngel, Middle Dutch swinghel
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for swingle

"instrument for beating flax," early 14c., from Middle Dutch swinghel "swingle for flax," cognate with Old English swingel "beating, stick to beat," from swingan "to beat, strike, whip" (see swing (v.)) + instrumental suffix -le. Or perhaps directly from the Old English word, with narrowing of sense.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for swingle

swing for the fences

verb phrase

  1. To swing very hard, trying for a home run: As the Babe knew, swinging for the fences often brings more strikeouts than four-baggers (1970s+ Baseball)
  2. To make a maximum effort; go for broke: What was striking about Clinton's first week in office was the way he swung for the fences on the domestic front/ This stockbroker prefers to invest his own money in issues more risky than the ones Morgan Stanley recommends; he is willing to swing for the fences with his own investments (1980s+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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