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1756, probably imitative of the sound made by something brushing against or through something. Related: Swished; swishing.
1820, from swish (v.); sense of "effeminate homosexual" is 1930s in homosexual slang, probably from notion of mincing motion.
A stroke or blow, esp a strong one • Most often in the phrase take a swipe at: Let somebody take a swipe at him (1807+)verb
[all senses perhaps fr alterations of sweep or swoop and the actions of sweeping or swooping up, or of hitting a sweeping blow; noun sense perhaps fr dialect preservation of Old English swippan, ''beat, scourge'']
Inferior liquor, esp of the homemade sort: the homemade bootleg mess made by the natives out of fruit and called ''swipe''
[1960s+; probably related to several late 1780s and early 1800s British senses of swipe, ''to gulp liquor quickly and deeply,'' of swipes, ''small beer,'' and of swipey, ''tipsy,'' all of which may be related to the British nautical swipes, ''rinsings of the beer barrel,'' and hence to a sibilation of wipe]