AskDefine | Define swag

Dictionary Definition



1 valuable goods
2 goods or money obtained illegally [syn: loot, booty, pillage, plunder, prize, dirty money]
3 a bundle containing the personal belongings of a swagman


1 droop, sink, or settle from or as if from pressure or loss of tautness [syn: sag, droop, flag]
2 walk as if unable to control one's movements; "The drunken man staggered into the room" [syn: stagger, reel, keel, lurch, careen]
3 sway heavily or unsteadily [also: swagging, swagged]

User Contributed Dictionary

see SWAG




  1. A burglar's or thief's booty; boodle.
  2. a bushmans' possessions tied up in a blanket and carried over the shoulder on a long stick.
  3. handouts, freebies or giveaways, such as those handed out at conventions. (The backronym "Stuff We All Get" has been suggested for this meaning, but it is probably not the etymology.)
  4. a wild guess or ballpark estimate (The backronyms "Stupid Wild Ass Guess" and "Scientific Wild Ass Guess" have been suggested for this meaning, but it is probably not the etymology but rather a backronym.)
    I can take a swag at the answer, but it may not be right.
  5. a loop of draped fabric
  6. low grade or cheap marijuana; however this is usually spelled schwag, schwagg, or shwag.


*2005, Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty, Bloomsbury Publishing, paperback edition, 438
  • He looked in bewilderment at number 24, the final house with its regalia of stucco swags and bows.


*French: butin *French: balluchon, baluchon

Extensive Definition

In Australian historical terms, a swag is a portable shelter that is rolled (usually with belongings inside) and carried on a person's back.

Historical Use

Before motor transport was common, foot travel over long distances was essential to workers who were travelling in the Australian bush and who could not afford a horse. Itinerant workers who travelled from farm to farm shearing sheep in the late 19th and early 20th centuries were called "swagmen" because they carried all their possessions in a swag. This image was immortalised in Australian culture by the song Waltzing Matilda.

Modern Use

In Australia and New Zealand, the term "swag" is still widely used to refer to a tent or other portable shelter used for camping or outdoor sleeping.
A modern swag is a waterproof canvas sleeping compartment that is sometimes bug-proof. All swags come with a foam mattress, and can comfortably be slept in with the addition of a pillow and sleeping bag. When rolled up the swag is lightweight and very compact, making it ideal for storage and transport. It is typically easy to erect and roll up can be done quickly.

See also

External links

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

angularity, arch, ascend, bag, bagging, baggy, ballooning, bank, bend, bend back, blackmail, bob, bobble, boodle, booty, bow, cadence, cant, careen, cascade, catenary, cave, cave in, climb, coggle, crook, curl, curve, daggle, dangle, decline, decurrence, decurve, deflect, depend, descend, dip, dome, drabble, drag, draggle, drape, droop, drooping, droopy, drop, embow, fall, fall away, fall off, flag, flap, flex, flop, flop down, floppy, flow, fluctuate, flump, flump down, flutter, founder, give way, go down, go downhill, go uphill, grade, graft, hang, hang down, haul, hook, hot goods, hump, hunch, inclination, incline, incurvate, incurve, inflect, keel, lapse, lean, leaning, leaning tower, librate, limp, list, loop, loose, loot, lop, lop-eared, loppy, lower, lowering, lurch, nod, nodding, nutate, oscillate, pend, pendulate, perks, perquisite, pickings, pitch, plop, plop down, plump, plunder, pork barrel, prize, public till, public trough, rake, recurve, reel, reflect, reflex, resonate, retreat, retroflex, rhino, rise, rock, rocks, roll, round, sag, sagging, sagging in folds, saggy, scratch, set, settle, settle down, shake, shekels, shelve, sidle, sink, sink down, sinkage, slant, slope, slouch, slump, slump down, smash, spoil, spoils, spoils of office, squeeze, stealings, stolen goods, stuff, stumpy, submerge, submergence, subside, subsidence, sugar, sway, sweep, swing, swinging, take, till, tilt, tilter, tip, toss, tower of Pisa, trail, turn, uprise, vacillate, vault, vibrate, wag, waggle, wampum, wave, waver, weep, wilt, wind, wobble, yaw
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