Perhaps from swanky, or perhaps from an Old English root, related to the Scots swank and the Middle High German swanken, modern German schwanken ‎(to sway).



swank ‎(comparative swanker, superlative swankest)

  1. (dated) Fashionably elegant.
    I went to a swank party last night.


swank ‎(plural swanks)

  1. A fashionably elegant person.
    He's such a swank.
  2. Ostentation.
    The parvenu was full of swank.
    • 1925, F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Chapter I
      Not even the effeminate swank of his riding clothes could hide the enormous power of that body--he seemed to fill those glistening boots until he strained the top lacing and you could see a great pack of muscle shifting when his shoulder moved under his thin coat.


swank ‎(third-person singular simple present swanks, present participle swanking, simple past and past participle swanked)

  1. To swagger, to show off.
    Looks like she's going to swank in, flashing her diamonds, then swank out to another party.
    • 1953, Saul Bellow, chapter 5, in The Adventures of Augie March:
      He was still an old galliard, with white Buffalo Bill vandyke, and he swanked around, still healthy of flesh, in white suits, looking things over with big sex-amused eyes.


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