Swot… and swots…

I’ve always known the word swot to mean someone who studied hard at school and for exams, but maybe that’s old-fashioned and when people hear the word swot they think of SWOT analysis. I do vaguely remember them being introduced in my last couple of years of teaching, and thinking it was yet one more fashionable new item among the new clothes of the emperor’s wardrobe.

SWOT is a square divided in four;

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The word swot as I think of it apparently has a simple origin; it comes from the Old English for ‘sweat’ – swāt, because obviously if you’re working hard in class or for exams you are probably sweating, maybe even literally!

This shouldn’t be confused with swat which means to hit something and comes from Middle English ‘swat’… Back to sweat (swot) that too comes from Old English, Anglo-Saxon, and has a long history going back to the earliest European languages…

Sweatshirt, sweatpants, sweatsuit, sweatshop, sweatband, sweatbox, sweater, no sweat…

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