Swag

amateurr

Senior Member
Russian
Could anyone tell me what "swag" means in this case?

Betty: ...It’s a new year, new job. It’s just one floor down, same building, ... It’s not like I’ve never gonna see any of you again.
Christina: Still, I don’t imagine there’s much swag at MYW (magazine).
Betty: No. I’ll definitely miss the perks.

Thanks in advance!
 
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  • Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    It's what some employees in cushy jobs get from their employers. For example, they might get a basket of "stuff" (chocolates, wines, crystal, etc.) for doing good work on a particular project. If the company is having its annual golf tournament, the employees might receive gifts of golf balls, towels, ball mark tools, etc. If the company is very rich and generous, they might give the employees golf bags, clubs, etc.

    You might have heard that at such celebrity events as the Grammy's and Academy Awards, all of the presenters get "swag". In these cases, it's jewellry, expensive handbags, ad nauseum.

    Think of it as "loot" that you didn't really earn.:)
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Swag means stolen property, loot. It is a word jokingly written on sacks carried by burglars in cartoons. Here it means the fruits of honest endeavour - Betty seems to have lost her job and the suggestion is that she will be less well remunerated - she mentions missing perks - in her new job.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Yes, swag is loot, unless this is Australian, where it would just mean 'bag' or bundle'. There's a swagman in 'Waltzing Matilda': Once a jolly swagman camped by the billabong...
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I've been wondering about Dimcl's suggestion that the swag is just the perks, and not just the whole remuneration package. I think I'd understand it as the whole package, although Betty draws attention to the perks.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    No, I wasn't aware that swag referred to those kinds of things (which I would call goodies or freebies or something else). But as Betty and Christina seem to be (North) American ladies, I would assume Dimcl has the right thing.
     

    redgiant

    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    Given that many celebrities are actually paid discreetly to attend events, a certain level of star wattage is assured but party organizers, with tighter budgets, have been increasingly ruthless about who they will let in free.

    "A lot of the D-listers who are just there for the swag are not getting in," said the publicist, who declined to be named.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idUSTRE54L2O120090522?sp=true

    Does "snag" mean "decoration" here?
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    This is an extension of the usual meaning of swag. Swag often means "goods obtained illegally". Here it refers to baskets or bags of gifts that are given out to the people who attend these affairs.
     

    francesalut

    New Member
    English
    Even though I write about words and the use of language, I'd never heard the word used in that context. In British English, swag is (or was, since it is old-fashioned) used most commonly as an informal term for the proceeds of, for example, a burglary.
    .
     
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    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Please remember rule #1 - look for the answer first. This thread is one of two listed in the Dictionary and thread title search for swag (the other one is about curtains).
     

    MSixx

    New Member
    czech
    Hi,
    I'm translating an episode of Storage Wars and I've come across the word 'swag'. I've found several definitions across the internet, but I'm not sure what it means in this context.
    The guy in the series comes to two guys who call themselves 'Kings of Swag' and they're telling him what they do.

    'Basically what we do is brand integration, product placement, celebrity marketing. We see a lot of swag and we incorporate it with celebrity events. The new term of swag which is stuff we ain't going to get or sealed with a gift.'

    Could anybody, please, explain what does the word mean?
    Thank you.

    << This question has been added to a previous thread. >>
     
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    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    "Swag" is a collective term for gifts that are given to people at events such as the Oscar awards ceremony. For example, people who attend that ceremony may get samples of perfume or after-shave. The hope is that this will, in some way, help persuade the rest of us (who were not invited to the awards ceremony, but who adore all those beautiful people and want to be like them) to buy that perfume or after-shave.
     

    waltern

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    At events like trade shows there are often free promotional giveaways referred to as "swag" - pens, bags, magnets, chocolates, etc. imprinted with company logos.

    However celebrities at large events like the Oscars can collect much more valuable "swag" - perfume, watches, jewelry, vacations - the idea is to try to get publicity from having your product associated with the celebrity - see this article:

    http://www.forbes.com/2008/02/11/hollywood-celebrity-retailing-biz-media_cz_kb_0212swag.html
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    This thread has been merged with a previous thread on the same topic. Please read from the top.

    Note for the future: Panjandrum's advice in post #11 still applies:

    :arrow: Search the forum for an answer or an existing thread before starting a new thread.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    But, like many, many other explanations from acronyms, it's not worth much. Treat these "etymologies" as a joke, not a truth. Swag in all its meanings is actually derived from the Norwegian svagga, meaning to sway.
    Perhaps that's why I said "for what it's worth" and "is often translated." And while Stuff We All Get is perhaps useful as a mnemonic for SWAG, it is certainly not an etymology.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Swag as a noun is being used to modify giveaway, the main noun. If you're asking if it's redundant, then yes, it probably is -- along the lines of "free gift" -- but we use it anyway. :)
     

    yyfroy

    Member
    Chinese
    Thank you, Copyright,

    So you mean: swag = giveaway? OR ... (see below)

    Is there any possibility "one of them could be sold and one of them is absolutely free because it's very cheap and its quality is not good"?

    One of them (the former) was sent free just because the seller wanted to promote it; it's quality is OK or even better just in small amount.

    P.S. I really love
    Abyssinian cat, and I have one, too.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Please see post 7: swag and gifts are both free, so adding giveaway or free is redundant, but as I say, it's often added anyway. Swag is not sold.
     

    redgiant

    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    A newly formed football club had chosen today's match as a "fan day" to promote the team and attract new fans. Everyone who attended the match could receive a free team shirt, a plastic vuvuzela cheering horn and a couple of coupons for McDonald's ice cream.

    Would you call those free promotional giveaways as "swag" at a football match?

    Example: Hundreds of fans turned out in droves for the team's swag
     
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