What is 'swounds?


A sort of abbreviative censorship (minced oath) of "God's wounds", a phrase used in cursing in shakespearean times.

It is to that phrase as "darn" is to "damn", or "fudge" to "fuck".

"'Swounds, I should take it, for it cannot be but I am pidgeon-liver'd and lack gall to make oppression bitter, or ere this I should ha' fatted all the region kites with this slave's offal." -Hamlet, Act II, scene 2, lines 580-584

See zounds, minced oath, shakespeare


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