I swan

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10 comments on this post.
  1. Angela:

    I’m from Kentucky and my mom says, “well, I swanny” to express surprise at some unbelievable gossip or as a term of frustration. For example, trying to thread a needle over and over without success would bring out an “I swanny” from her. I’m 46 y/o and she has said this all my life. My grandmother used to say, “Well, law” with the word law drawn out to express surprise and disbelief. The grandkids get a big kick out of hearing these phrases! My neighbor from Virginia will say, “that girl is as ill as a copperhead”, meaning the girl is in a really mean mood!

  2. larry knowles:

    “I swunny” was my Mother’s favorite expression for surprise or mild shock. She was born in 1913 in then rural Henry Co. GA, now merely a suburban area of Atlanta. Being a live-at-home old bachelor, I must have heard her say it, twenty thousand times, until her death in 2004.

  3. Katherine:

    Thank you so much! I have been searching for the origin of swan for forty years. If was and still is common in my mothers family in Tennessee. We always knew it meant to declare but did not know the origin. When grandma was surprised she said,”I swam”. When grandma was shocked and without an answer to a problem she would say,”I swanny mercy”.

  4. Drew Snider:

    I’d been wondering about this most of my life and finally decided to look it up and here it is-thanks!

  5. Chuck:

    My Dad was from Tennessee and he always said, “I swear and I swan.”

    My Mom, from Oklahoma said, “I swan,” or “I swanny.”

  6. Emgee:

    When expressing (especially feign) surprise, my father will often say, “I swanny and do vow!” My family has lived in Georgia for six generations.

  7. Ed Gombert:

    I first heard the character of Fibber in the radio show Fibber Magee and Molly and wondered where it came from. Thanks, I can finally wonder about something else.

  8. Ed Marlow:

    My grandma used to say: “I be swan!” whenever she was surprised by something.

  9. Paula:

    My mom from Oklahoma used to say I’ll swan or I’ll swan to goodness.

  10. Dennis Williams:

    This was a very common expression in western Kentucky when I was a kid growing up years ago. I was born in 1944 and my dad’s mother who was born in 1900 used to say it all the time.

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