• synonyms


noun British.
  1. the taking up of young swans to mark them with nicks on the beak for identification.
  2. an annual expedition for this purpose on the Thames.
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Origin of swan-upping

1800–10; swan1 + upping (up + -ing1)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for swan-upping

Historical Examples of swan-upping

  • This is called "swan-upping," and a good time it used to be.

    The Nursery, July 1881, Vol. XXX


  • The young cygnets were marked at the annual festival of “swan-upping,” at which the City magnates used hugely to enjoy themselves.

  • The time-honoured brutality of swan-upping is now mitigated by law, its cruelty being obvious.

British Dictionary definitions for swan-upping


noun British
  1. the practice or action of marking nicks in swans' beaks as a sign of ownership
  2. the annual swan-upping of royal cygnets on the River Thames
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Word Origin for swan-upping

C16: from up (in the archaic sense: to catch and mark a swan)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012