Guess where I found this word? Lord of the Rings fan fiction. I have no remorse. In fact, I’m quite proud of my findings.
I give this word many points for originality and lack of common use. I like to mention the old fashioned feel to words, and this one takes the javelin for being entirely medieval. (Javelin gets my point across better than cake would.) I did my best to research its origins, but the closest thing I could find was a word in a Middle English song by an unknown author entitled “Blow Northerne Wynd!”
One line goes: Send thou me my suetyng! and if the Middle English Dictionary and Anthology of English Literature I found online are to be believed, this very old word means sweetling or sweetheart. If you listen to the lovely song clip on Luminarium you’ll hear that suetyng sounds like “sweyting.” Not too far from sweetling, is it? That’s a rhetorical question, but you’re welcome to shake your head or cry, “Nope!”
I say we bring back words like this. Of course, I also say we should bring back shifts and sleeveless tunics and enormous tapestries that hang on walls to hide secret passages to mind-blowing libraries. I dream big.
Back to the word. It has to be used right, by a person who won’t sound foolish trying to be sweet. I doubt a Hobbit could pull it off with those adorable accents. Maybe if you’re an elf who’s lived about a hundred years with a well developed voice of unquestionable wisdom you can use it without caution. Practice on your youngest, cutest little siblings, cousins, or smallish elflings you have to babysit and work your way up to the ranks of romantic poet.