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Well, in addition to swaering by God's name, his body (i.e. communion) was
often evoked in such a fashion. Examples would be "By God's little body!" or
"Bodykins!" Likewise with Christ, as in the very common "Christ's blood!"
which was often shortened to "S'blood!"
All of this comes from a niftly little booklet on Elizabethan English I picked
up in my travels. It also mentiones that often men would swear by classical
beings (especially if they wanted to look educated), like "by the Might of
Mars!" or "the Beauty of Venus!" etc. Or by tools of trade. If a knight,
this might be "by my sword!" or "by my honor!" bravery, etc. Another man
might say, "by my plough!" (I wonderif a barber woudl ever swear by his
leeches? ;-) A woman might swear by her virtue or her chastity, or in the
case of tools of trade, by her needles, spinning wheel, etc.
This booklet I have just gives a few basic suggestions like this. I have seen
books out there that deal exclusively with Elizabethan swearing, etc. Might
be a fun read.
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- Re: expletive
- From: marybeth lavrakas <Marybeth_Lavrakas@med.unc.edu>