: a state of extreme agitation
She was in a swivet for days before the meeting, but when the actual day arrived she found she was surprisingly calm.
"The world's in a swivet over airport security. The deployment of full-body scanning technology in about 15 percent of United States airports has people even more anxious and cranky than usual as we head into the holiday season." -- From an article in The Houston Chronicle, November 24, 2010
Did You Know?
People have been in a swivet over one thing or another since the 1890s. That, at least, is when the word first appeared in print in a collection of "Peculiar Words and Usages" of Kentucky published by the American Dialect Society. In the ensuing years, "swivet" popped up in other pockets of the South as well. Chances are it had already been around for some time before it was recorded in writing, and by the time it was, nobody could say where or how it had originated. What we do know is that its use gradually spread, so that by the 1950s it was regularly appearing in national magazines like Time and The New Yorker. Thus, it entered the mainstream of American English.
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Name That Synonym
What synonym of "swivet" rhymes with "gather"? The answer is ...