Green’s Dictionary of Slang

swag n.1

[14C SE swag, a bulgy bag]

1. [mid-17C–early 19C] (UK Und.) a shop (and its contents) viewed as booty.

2. [early 18C+] money, either notes and cash.

3. [mid-18C+] (orig. UK Und.) a thief’s booty (esp. linen or clothes as opposed to jewels or plate) or a pedlar’s wares.

4. [mid-18C+] any form of goods; also attrib.

5. [mid-19C] the trade in small, second-rate articles; also attrib.

6. [mid-19C+] a lot or plenty of anything.

7. [mid-19C+] (UK/Aus./N.Z.) the pack carried by an itinerant or vagrant.

8. [mid-19C] (UK Und.) a share in booty.

9. [mid-19C] a trader in small articles, the keeper of a swag shop

10. [mid-19C] (US Und.) a bribe.

11. a robbery.

12. [1990s+] (drugs) cannabis.

13. free merchandise given away at publicity events.

14. [2010s] (UK black) vocabulary, terminology.

15. see swag shop

In derivatives

swagless (adj.)

lacking booty.

swagwise (adv.)

in the manner of an intinerant’s pack.

In compounds

swag-barrow man (n.)

[mid-19C] a street-seller of miscellaneous goods; thus swag-barrow, his cart.

swag chovey (n.) [chovey n.]

[mid–late 19C] (UK Und.) a criminal receiver’s shop or store; thus swag-chovey bloke/bloak, a marine store dealer.

swag-cove (n.) [cove n. (1)]

[early-mid-19C] (UK Und.) a receiver of stolen goods.

swag-getter (n.)

a thief specializing in silk.

swagman (n.)

see separate entries.

swag shop (n.) (also swag)

[early 19C–1920s] a shop that deals wholesale in cheap articles.

swagsman (n.)

see separate entry.

In phrases

dead swag (n.)

[mid-19C] (US Und.) a disappointing haul from a robbery.

gentleman of the swag (n.)

[1940s–50s] (N.Z.) a tramp.

go on the swag (v.) (also be on the swag)

[1920s+] (Aus./N.Z.) to travel as an itinerant.

hump one’s swag (v.) (also hump a swag, …the swag) [hump v.1 (3d)]

[mid-19C+] (Aus./N.Z.) to carry a pack; note cit. 1861 refers to a tea-chest

look for one’s swag straps (v.) [one is about to strap on one’s swag and get moving]

[late 19C+] (Aus./N.Z.) to start thinking of leaving one job and going in search of another.

penny swag (n.)

[mid-19C] a seller of penny lots.