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SWOON

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SWOON

Postby Dr. Goodword » Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:25 pm

• swoon •

Pronunciation: swun • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb, intransitive (no direct object)

Meaning: To faint or be light-headed, giddy, as though on the brink of fainting.

Notes: Swooning seems to have gone out of fashion. 100 years ago the slightest mention of anything inappropriate (a vulgar word) let alone upsetting (a death in the family) or exciting (a marriage proposal) would send a proper young lady into a swoon. Swoons were reflected in a characteristic gesture—touching the forehead with the back of the wrist. A picture of a swooning maiden can still be seen in the main titles of PBS Mystery, though hardly anywhere else. When swooning was fashionable, weakness was a cultivated trait of young maidens. You've come a long way, baby, and the journey left its mark in a trail of words like swoon.

In Play: Because swooning is a sign of weakness, it has always been associated more with women than with men: "Carmen Ghia swooned when she heard Philbrick refer to his underwear in mixed company." How times have changed. However, since it simply refers to giddiness, the brink of fainting, it is applicable (even today) to both sexes: "When Matthew returned from work the first day after his honeymoon, the unexpected aromas of Beverly's cooking caused him to swoon."

Word History: Today's Good Word is yet another of those extreme rarities: an original English word not borrowed from any other language! This one comes from Old English geswogen, the past participle of swogan "to suffocate". This verb evolved into Middle English swow "to faint" with a past participle swoon "fainted", which became the verb itself a bit later. A slightly longer version of the past participle devolved into aswoon, an adjective-adverb "to be faint-headed, about to faint".
Last edited by Dr. Goodword on Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Slava » Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:55 pm

As soon as the swain saw his belle in her new gown, he swooned.
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:37 am

She swooped into the room, swished across the floor, and swooned before her love.
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Postby Philip Hudson » Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:45 pm

I love alliteration. Is Sue going to swoon while she is selling sea shells by the sea shore?
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:25 pm

Only after she buys some pickled peppers from Peter.
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Postby misterdoe » Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:49 pm

Perry: By any chance is that Swoosie Kurtz doing that swooping, swishing, and swooning? :)
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:53 pm

All I know of her is that she and I were born in the
same hometown.
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Postby Philip Hudson » Sun Jul 22, 2012 1:40 pm

Swoosie Kurtz seems to have flown so low that she has always been under my radar. I never heared of her.
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Postby misterdoe » Sun Jul 22, 2012 2:58 pm

Do you ever watch the CBS sitcom Mike & Molly? Swoosie Kurtz plays Molly's mother. (I didn't know that was her until I looked it up just now...)
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Postby Slava » Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:47 pm

Here's everything she's done: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001436/
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:24 pm

misterdoe wrote:Do you ever watch the CBS sitcom Mike & Molly? Swoosie Kurtz plays Molly's mother. (I didn't know that was her until I looked it up just now...)


Nope, don't watch it, as I gave up on TV comedy after
the royal days of Mary Tyler Moore, Lucy and their kin.
I only noticed she was born in my hometown when I had
to look her up on Wiki - she too has been way under my
radar.
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