Family History Notebook

The Penguin Dictionary of Surnames by Basil Cottle
published by Penguin Books 1967, 1978

Swindell(s), Swindler may be modern jests misrepresenting Swingle(s), Swingler. Guppy counted -ell in Derbys-Staffs, -ells in Ches-Staffs

Swingler o 'one who uses a scourge/rod/swingle (for beating flax)/flail' OE swingell


1    It seems to me to be unlikely that 'swingling' would be a distinguishing occupation at the time of surname formation in the fourteenth century. A consonant shift from Swindle to Swingle - as suggested above for Swinglehurst and as apparently occurred with the word 'shingle' from shindle for a wooden roof slate - appears more likely.