'middle, waist' (Modern English swange)


The only close analogue is in the Scandinavian languages, cp. OIcel svangi ‘the groin (esp. of animals), belly’, and all authorities thus derive the ME word from ON.  The ON n. seems to represent a wk. masc. formation on the same root as the adj. PGmc *swanga-, itself only securely attested (in this form) in NGmc, cp. OIcel svangr ‘slender, slim, thin’.

PGmc Ancestor


Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)

svangi ‘the groin (esp of animals), belly’
(ONP svangi (sb.))

Other Scandinavian Reflexes

Far svangi, Icel svangi, Norw svange, Dan svang, Sw dial svang, svånge

OE Cognate

Phonological and morphological markers

Summary category



MED only cites 3 occurrences outside Gaw, all N (and two in alliterative texts).

Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus

Gaw 138, 2034


MED swange (n.) , OED swange , HTOED , Dance swange, Bj. 221, de Vries svangr, Mag. svangi, Heid. swanga-