‘Swingeing cuts’ usually refer to sharp budget cuts – note the ‘e’ making it a soft ‘g’ (like a ‘j’), not like the hard ‘g’ of ‘singing in the rain’. To swinge means to strike hard, or beat, and comes from Old English, swengan, ‘shake, shatter, move violently’, of Germanic origin.  ‘He had swinged the land…’

Source: Seamus Heaney, Beowulf, p. 74

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