from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An ornamental drapery or curtain draped in a curve between two points.
  • noun An ornamental festoon of flowers or fruit.
  • noun A carving or plaster molding of such an ornament.
  • noun Promotional items, especially when given for free, considered as a group.
  • noun Slang Stolen property; loot.
  • noun Australian The pack or bundle containing the personal belongings of a swagman.
  • intransitive verb Chiefly British To lurch or sway.
  • intransitive verb Australian To travel about with a pack or swag.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To tramp about in search of work, carrying one's swag. See swagman, 2.
  • To sink down by its weight; lean; sag.
  • To move as something heavy and pendent; sway.
  • noun An unequal, hobbling motion.
  • noun Same as swale, 2.
  • noun A bundle; the package or roll containing the possessions of a swagman.
  • noun A festoon. See the quotation.
  • noun In decorative art, an irregular or informal cluster: as, a swag of flowers in the engraved decoration of a piece of plate.
  • noun In coalmining, a subsidence of the roof, in consequence of the working away of the coal: same as weighting.
  • noun A large quantity: a lot; hence, plundered property; booty; boodle.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb Prov. Eng. To hang or move, as something loose and heavy; to sway; to swing.
  • intransitive verb To sink down by its weight; to sag.
  • intransitive verb Australia To tramp carrying a swag.
  • noun A swaying, irregular motion.
  • noun Cant or Slang A burglar's or thief's booty; boodle.
  • noun A tramping bushman's luggage, rolled up either in canvas or in a blanket so as to form a long bundle, and carried on the back or over the shoulder; -- called also a bluey, or a drum.
  • noun Any bundle of luggage similarly rolled up; hence, luggage in general.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun slang Style; fashionable appearance or manner.
  • verb To sway; to cause to sway;
  • verb intransitive To droop.
  • verb transitive To decorate (something) with loops of draped fabric.
  • noun A loop of draped fabric.
  • noun A low point or depression in land; especially, a place where water collects.
  • noun Alternative capitalization of SWAG; a wild guess or ballpark estimate.
  • noun countable The booty of a burglar or thief; a boodle.
  • noun uncountable Handouts, freebies, or giveaways, such as those handed out at conventions.
  • noun countable, Australia, dated The possessions of a bushman or itinerant worker, tied up in a blanket and carried over the shoulder, sometimes attached to a stick.
  • noun countable, Australia, by extension A small single-person tent, usually foldable in to an integral backpack.
  • noun countable, Australia, New Zealand A large quantity (of something).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun valuable goods
  • noun a bundle containing the personal belongings of a swagman
  • verb walk as if unable to control one's movements
  • verb droop, sink, or settle from or as if from pressure or loss of tautness
  • verb sway heavily or unsteadily
  • noun goods or money obtained illegally


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Probably of Scandinavian origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Probably from Old Norse sveggja ("to swing, sway")

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From British thieves′ slang.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Shortening of swagger (noun).


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  • Stuff(sh!t) We All Get.

    September 28, 2007

  • See boodle.

    January 17, 2008

  • She saw signs, and chilled as she saw them, of certain swags under her chin, if not yet reality, then certainly warning.

    —Dorothy Parker, 'The Bolt behind the Blue'

    Note also unusual intransitive use of 'chill'.

    November 12, 2008

  • There are many Urban Dictionary entries for "swag," most having to do with promotional merchandise distributed at concerts, trade shows, conferences, and awards shows. Probably related to older definition of "loot"; attempts at backronyms (Stuff We Are Given, Shit We All Get) are almost certainly spurious. Secondary Urban Dictionary definition--"the way one carries oneself"--may derive from "swagger."

    June 8, 2009

  • There is a slang version of this in use as well, as an acronym for "Secretly We Are Gay". I was advised by someone who teaches Human Sexuality that this meaning is still in use.

    February 26, 2013

  • This is a backronym.

    January 24, 2018