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Re: I'll swing for you

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on April 06, 2010 at 18:24

In Reply to: Re: I'll swing for you posted by David FG on April 06, 2010 at 17:14:

: : The saying "I'll swing for you"! to most people The saying "I'll swing for you"! to most people The saying "I'll swing for you"! to most people I have asked recently what it means, their reply is usually "it means to swing a punch at someone, though I feel it may have deeper origins back to times when the gallows were in use and the term "I'll swing for you" or "I'll swing for him/them" meant someone saying it would be basically meaning, I'll kill him/her/them and I don't care about the consequences, even swinging at the end of the hangmans rope at the gallows. I wonder if anyone has any information on this, many thanks.

: It's the latter. It means 'I will kill you and take the consequences (the gallows).'

: DFG

Seconded. "Swing" meaning "suffer death by hanging" has been in regular colloquial use in Britain since the mid-16th century until the abolition of capital punishment, and "swing for [a crime]" and "swing for [someone]" were commonplace. One of the quotations give by the OED is (from 1884): "I don't wish any man to swing for me - I have always disapproved of the death-penalty."
("Swing for you" is actually ambiguous; it can mean, depending on context, "kill you and be hanged for it", or "kill someone for your sake and be hanged for it".) (VSD)