Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Swear by my Sword (Hamlet, i. 5)

 Swear Black is White (To).Sweat. 
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E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Swear by my Sword (Hamlet, i. 5)
 
—that is, “by the cross on the hilt of my sword.” Again in Winter’s Tale, “Swear by this sword thou wilt perform my bidding” (ii. 3). Holinshed says, “Warwick kisses the cross of King Edward’s sword, as it were a vow to his promise,” and Decker says, “He has sworn to me on the cross of his pure Tole’do” (Old Fortunatus).   1
 


 Swear Black is White (To).Sweat. 

 
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