Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Swear

 Swashbuckler.Swear Black is White (To). 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Swear
 
now means to take an oath, but the primitive sense is merely to aver or affirm; when to affirm on oath was meant, the word oath was appended, as “I swear by oath.” Shakespeare uses the word frequently in its primitive sense; thus Othello says of Desdemona—   1
       
“She swore, in faith, ’twas strange, ’twas passing strange.”
       
Othello, i. 3.
 


 Swashbuckler.Swear Black is White (To). 

 
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