schwanken

Meanings

1.
to fluctuate, to see-saw, to vary
(Primarily used for all kinds of numbers that are moving back and force in a range.)
2.
to teeter, to falter
(Think of a drunk person walking or a boat in the waves.)

Word Family

Root: *su̯enk-

The core idea of this root was:

bending, swaying, swinging

It’s still quite visible in German words like schwanken and schwenken and even in Schwanz (tail). Just think of a dog waving it :).
The adjective schwach started out as bendable, from where it is not far to its current meaning weak.

The English etymological sources I am using do not mention this root.
But according to the German sources, it would be the origin of the English words to swing, to sway and possibly also swag.

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