Monday, January 24, 2005

swag vs. schwag

ok, so i have always known promotional items, free goods, etc., as swag. i have always known the viscous eight-inch of liquid that gets left in a bottle as schwag. in apes' recent post, he refers to some booty he got as a result of winning a bet as schwag. it's not the first time i've heard someone use schwag as a synonym for swag, but when did schwag become an acceptable alternative for swag?


Blogger ivanomartin said...

I always thought "schwag" meant crappy dope, such as the ridiculously terrible grass that that dude used to sell out of the bathroom at S.O.B.'s. I looked it up on and it has the following usages:

"adj- Ewww this schwag ass weed tastes horrible and it didnt get me very high.
noun- I hate smoking schwag, but i cant get any dank right now so i guess i'll have to."

"Schwag is the antithesis of kind bud."


January 24, 2005 8:14 PM  
Blogger Marc said...

that's one for william safire.

i first become aware of the phrase when i started reading film threat years ago. i thought i read it as "schwag" but looking into it further with the trusty google search, it looks like "swag" comes up a lot more frequently than "schwag." i think there must've been a column in the magazine called "swag." the onion also calls free promo stuff "swag." it's quite possible that i didn't first see the phrase "schwag" in film threat. it's possible that i saw "swag" there and got kind of annoyed that it wasn't "schwag." to me, "schwag" sounds better -- the cheesiness of the word often represents the ridiculousness of the free goods.

January 24, 2005 8:15 PM  
Blogger weasel said...

"Schwag"- The larcenous haul of a cat burglar with cumbersome braces.
Signed the Caped Etymologist

January 25, 2005 9:15 AM  
Blogger youthlarge said...

ah yes, mr. nelson, i forgot about that use of schwag.

January 25, 2005 11:23 AM  
Blogger jamie said...

i think i based my usage on a quick search that turned up this instance in "Wired" about free stuff through the ages:

January 25, 2005 1:21 PM  
Blogger youthlarge said...

i'm not the only one who wants to get down to the bottom of this:

also from
Swagdance 2001
Swag: the film festival gifts that turn the receiver into a year-round billboard for the giver, and the enviable focus of festival-goers who missed out. There are two types of swag: items that promote a film [masturbation flick "The Trouble With Lou" is doling out hand cream for the lonely or impatient] and the gifts that promote a company. Here in Park City, swag abounds. "Schwag" as well. Schwag is stolen swag. "I thought schwag was Jewish swag," said Mark Rabinowitz, indieWIRE co-founder and festival bon vivant. Wrong. "Schwag" occurs when regular swag rises to the level of an irresistible must-have item. Peter Byck gives the gift of getting "swagged," or more impressively, "Schwagged" in Park City. (January 28, 2001)

i hope handwashings comes back from Park City with lots of swag and lets us know if swag is under or overrated.

January 25, 2005 1:29 PM  

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