Free stuff – “swag” or “schwag”?

My company gives out free promotional items with the company name on it. Is this stuff called company swag or schwag?

It seems that both come up as common usages—Google searching indicates that the bias is slightly towards swag. Can anybody provide any definite proof of the root of the word and which one is more correct?


It is called swag, which some people believe stands for “Stuff We All Get” (the more PG version of the two variations).

Another relevant expansion is “Souvenirs, Wearables and Gifts” (ref)

Wiktionary defines swag as

2.Handouts, freebies, or giveaways, such as those handed out at conventions.

It seems that in written English, swag is the way to go:

Swag v shwag v schwag Google ngram showing swag leading by far

Perhaps the most definitive answer stems from an entry in Francis Grose’s Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue(1823), with a couple definitions for “swag” including:

SWAG. A bundle, parcel, or package ; as a swag of snow, &c. The swag, is a term used in speaking of any booty you have lately obtained, be it of what kind it may, except money ; as where did you lumber the swag? that is, where did you deposit the stolen property? […]

Source : Link , Question Author : Luke , Answer Author : yoozer8

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