swore


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Related to swore: Machinations

swear like a sailor

To use profanities or vulgar language very freely and fluently. (An allusion to the rough language presumed to be used by military personnel.) My little sister has been swearing like a sailor ever since she started learning bad words. My granny is the sweetest old lady you'll ever meet, but she swears like a sailor when she gets on the topic of something or someone she doesn't like.
See also: like, sailor, swear

swear on (one's) mother's grave

To make a very serious, solemn pledge, especially that one is telling the truth. Janet has sworn on her mother's grave that she wasn't the one to betray me, and I believe her. I swear on my mother's grave that if I have a chance to help your campaign, I will.
See also: grave, on, swear

swear a blue streak

To use profane language with great rapidity and intensity. My dad swore a blue streak after he found out I'd put a dent in his car.
See also: blue, streak, swear

swear like a trooper

To use profanities or vulgar language very freely and fluently. (An allusion to the rough language presumed to be used by military personnel.) My granny is the sweetest old lady you'll ever meet, but she swears like a trooper when she gets on the topic of something or someone she doesn't like.
See also: like, swear, trooper

swear on a stack of Bibles

To make a very serious, solemn pledge, especially that one is telling the truth. A hyperbolic reference to the traditional act of placing one's hand on a Bible while taking an oath, such as before a court proceeding. Janet has sworn on a stack of Bibles that she wasn't the one to betray me, and I believe her. I swear on a stack of Bibles that if I have a chance to help your campaign, I will.
See also: Bible, of, on, stack, swear

swear blind

To make a very serious, solemn pledge, especially that one is telling the truth. Janet has sworn blind that she wasn't the one to betray me, and I believe her.
See also: blind, swear

swear up and down

To make a very serious, solemn pledge, especially that one is telling the truth. Janet has sworn up and down that she wasn't the one to betray me, and I believe her.
See also: and, down, swear, up

swear by (someone or something)

To have and proclaim one's complete faith or confidence in someone or something. Not everyone believes that magnets have healing properties, but I've sworn by them for years—they're the only thing that's given me relief from back pain! You should ask our accountant to have a look at your tax returns. He's always been able to save us money, so we swear by him!
See also: swear

swear (one) in

To administer an oath to someone as part of the official process of taking public office. The current president was sworn in after his predecessor died of a sudden heart attack. We will swear you in as newly qualified members of the police force at the end of the ceremony.
See also: swear

swear off (something)

To promise, pledge, or be determined not to do, use, eat, or imbibe something anymore. Thank you, but I don't drink. I swore off alcohol when my father was killed by a drunk driver. Jack swore off cigarettes for his New Year's resolution.
See also: off, swear

swear (one) to secrecy

To make one promise that they won't reveal something that they know about. The company swore me to secrecy before promoting me to work on their latest product. OK, I'll tell you, but I have to swear you to secrecy!
See also: secrecy, swear

swear like a trooper

to curse and swear with great facility. (The trooper here refers to a soldier.) Mrs. Wilson was known to swear like a trooper on occasion. The clerk started swearing like a trooper, and the customer started crying.
See also: like, swear, trooper

swear on a stack of Bibles

 and swear on one's mother's grave
to state something very earnestly, pledging to tell the truth. (~ a Stack of Bibles refers in an exaggerated way to swearing to tell the truth in court by placing one's hand on a Bible.) I swear on a stack of Bibles that I am telling the truth. Of course, I'm telling the truth. I swear on my mother's grave!
See also: Bible, of, on, stack, swear

swear like a trooper

Freely utter profanity or obscenity, as in The teacher was shocked when she heard one of the fathers begin to swear like a trooper. The troopers in this term were the cavalry, who were singled out for their swearing from the early 1700s on.
See also: like, swear, trooper

swear on a stack of Bibles

Promise solemnly that what one is about to say is true, as in I swear on a stack of Bibles that I had nothing to do with his dropping out. This term alludes to the practice of placing one's hand on a sacred object while taking an oath, which dates from the mid-10th century. It is still followed in courts of law where a witness being sworn to tell the truth places a hand on the Bible. [Mid-1800s]
See also: Bible, of, on, stack, swear

swear on a stack of Bibles

If someone swears on a stack of Bibles that something is true, they emphasize their promise that it is true. Our leaders swore on a stack of Bibles there was plenty of oil, and, of course, we wanted to believe them.
See also: Bible, of, on, stack, swear

swear blind

BRITISH or

swear up and down

AMERICAN
If someone swears blind that something is true, they insist that they are telling you the truth. He swore blind that he hadn't taken the money. He swears blind that he bears no grudges against Manchester United for sacking him, but I don't know if I believe him.
See also: blind, swear

swear like a trooper

If someone swears like a trooper, they swear a lot. Mo was rude and abusive and swore like a trooper. Note: Nouns such as sailor or marine are sometimes used instead of trooper. The show has a heroine who drinks like a fish and swears like a sailor. Note: A trooper is a soldier.
See also: like, swear, trooper

swear up and down

AMERICAN
If someone swears up and down that something is true, they insist very strongly that they are telling you the truth. He swore up and down he was going to get the cash and bring it right back. I couldn't get it out of my head that maybe it was all part of his plan, although he swore up and down it wasn't. Note: The usual British expression is swear blind.
See also: and, down, swear, up

swear blind

affirm something in an emphatic manner. British informal
A North American variant of this expression is swear up and down .
See also: blind, swear

swear like a trooper

swear a great deal.
A trooper was originally a private soldier in a cavalry unit. Troopers were proverbial for their coarse behaviour and bad language at least as early as the mid 18th century: in Pamela ( 1739–40 ), Samuel Richardson writes ‘she curses and storms at me like a Trooper’. Compare with lie like a trooper (at lie).
See also: like, swear, trooper

swear like a ˈtrooper

(old-fashioned, British English) use many swear words; use bad language: She’s only fourteen, but she swears like a trooper.
A trooper is a soldier.
See also: like, swear, trooper

swear like a trooper

in. to curse and swear with great facility. The clerk started swearing like a trooper, and the customer started crying.
See also: like, swear, trooper

swear on a stack of Bibles

in. to make a very solemn pledge of one’s honesty. (Folksy. Official oaths are sometimes taken with one hand on a Bible. This phrase implies that more Bibles make an even stronger oath.) I swear on a stack of Bibles that I was in Atlanta on the night of January sixteenth.
See also: Bible, of, on, stack, swear
References in periodicals archive ?
Grange Hill was perceived, by some excitable types, to be thoroughly offensive when it first appeared on our screens - but the only offensive thing about it to me was that the kids never swore.
No other employees who swore at Mr Hussain were sent home and later dismissed.
Bradbury, who led the office for 24 years, swore in his chosen successor, Greg Totten, in a small office ceremony Friday.
The younger you are, the less likely you are to be offended by bad language and, unsurprisingly, the survey found men swore more than women.
Seventy-eight per cent of the people surveyed even admitted to swearing regularly for no reason whatsoever, while the overwhelming majority - 98 per cent - admitted that they swore when they lost their temper.
Playing in the Hexham League in the 1960s I made a right Bessie of a shot, cross, pass, I can't remember which, but I swore once.
David Stone, federal security director for Los Angeles International Airport, swore in the new screeners during a ceremony held at the Proud Bird restaurant.
But he deliberately swore into a camera, into the homes and faces of millions of people - there's a big difference.
In fact, it's alleged that when his wife Pamela Stephenson first met him, Billy swore so much she thought he had Tourette's Syndrome.
When I was growing up, we kids knew that if mom swore, something was terribly wrong.
The club barman warned Lindsay the first time and reported him when he swore again.
Ninety minutes after the hand-over, Chinese Premier Li Peng briskly swore in Tung as chief executive of the government that will run Hong Kong as a semiautonomous territory, fenced off from China and retaining its freedoms and capitalist system.
It also found staff generally only swore in areas where they could not be overheard by customers.