Meaning of swaddy in English:


Pronunciation /ˈswɒdi/

nounplural noun swaddies

informal, dated British
  • A private soldier.

    • ‘He is hard-drinking, fighting everybody from the neighbourhood gossip to the swaddies.’
    • ‘In one of his journies from Lewes, Tom picked up some swaddies.’
    • ‘Up comes a swaddy in a red cap.’
    • ‘"Can't abide a swaddy," said Joe; "never could."’
    • ‘Approaching a very handsome house, he told me an old swaddy lived there.’
    private soldier, common soldier


Early 19th century from dialect swad ‘soldier’, perhaps of Scandinavian origin.