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Re: Of accents & dialects (was: Azurian phonology

From:ROGER MILLS <rfmilly@...>
Date:Tuesday, October 28, 2008, 16:41
Mark Reed wrote:  (re "I swan")
>I assume it's actually "I sworn", just like "I seen", "I gone", etc. >
I don't think so-- it's definitely present tense (or some kind of tenseless).
> > >On 10/28/08, caeruleancentaur <caeruleancentaur@...> wrote: > > The lady who cleans my rectory was here yesterday and we were > > chatting. She used an expression I've heard before but forgotten > > about: "I swan" instead of "I swear." > > > > Does anyone have any thoughts about this expression? I've only heard > > it in the South. Perhaps it's a euphemistic alteration. > >
I don't think I've ever heard it in real life-- unless maybe my Mills grandparents (b. in Iowa late 1870s)-- but mostly just in old radio shows, where it was usually a rural or rustic thing. My interpretation has always been that it's an expression of surprise, perhaps synonymous with "Well, I'll be...[sci. damned]"