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He's one fell swooper:

“John Gill, an attorney for the five school district taxpayers who are led by parent Teresa Gray, in one fell swoop on Friday filed a notice of appeal, the case record, the written argument detailing the constitutional obstacles to a publicly funded severance program and a request that the Supreme Court expedite the case.”

I can remember when people were fell-swooping right and left — from the ridiculous to the sublime, one might say — but I thought the murky old cliché had died out. Evidently it's yet in use, which means there are people around who need an explanation.

A swoop is still a swoop, just as a sigh is still a sigh. It's the fell part that's troublesome. Fell is an old adjective — 13th century — that means “fierce, cruel, dreadful.” Shakespeare coined the phrase “at one fell swoop” in “Macbeth,” according to the Word Detective, who says it's a metaphor “intended to conjure up the sudden, savage attack of a falcon or other bird of prey on its quarry.” Macbeth had a lot of people he wanted to get rid of. So did Al Capone, who disposed of the North Side gang in one fell swoop, on Valentine's Day.

Today, one fell swoop means to take action quickly, completely and with finality: Acxiom reduced its payroll in one fell swoop.

Pistol-packin' mamas, lay those pistols down:

“In addition to cockfighting (which is shown on LiveCockfights.com, a subchannel of ToughSportsLive), ToughSportsLive offers broadcasts of bare-knuckles, no-rules Brazilian jujitsu matches dubbed ‘Rio Heroes,' and what Atkins says is a sport made for America, ‘Girls and Guns,' in which women wearing bikinis accessorized with double-thigh holsters and high-healed combat boots compete in a shoot-off of weapons that could easily outfit an American platoon in Vietnam — everything from M-249 SAWs to Barrett .50 caliber sniper rifles.” With all that weaponry, they're apt to need some high healing.

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