Grace in a Swivet…

I like the word swivet. You don’t hear it every day, but in context, the meaning is usually clear (per oed):

A state of agitation; a fluster or panic. Also, a hurry. Freq. in phr. in a swivet.

There are two problems with this lovely word, at least from a Regency romance perspective. First, written usage only dates from about 1892; second, it’s a piece of US dialectical vocabulary.

Drat and blast. My swains and damsels will probably get into swivets regularly, but I can’t refer to them as such without risking the wrath of the Correct Usage patrol, which is every vigilant.

If you want to read about the swivet I was in when Romance Writers of America called to tell me “Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish” was nominated for Best Regency for 2011, then you can read this little blog here.

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