A sailor. Disparaging.
This term, frequently used by non-sailors to refer to sailors, is most likely a contraction of the term "swabbie" or "swabby", presumably derived from the notion of sailors "swabbing the deck". "Swabbie/y" is currently in use only among the elderly; "swab" is the more common term among young people.
Typically applied to sailors of the U.S. Navy.
When the ships come in, all the swabs come down to the bars to get drunk.
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