1. (UK Und.) a shop (and its contents) viewed as booty.
|Eng. Rogue I 52: Swagg, a Shop.|
|Canting Academy (2nd edn).|
|Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Swag A Shop.|
|Hell Upon Earth 6: Swag, a Shop.|
|Lives of Most Noted Highway-men, etc. I 209: He taught his Pupil a deal of canting Words, telling him [...] Swag, a Shop.|
|New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].|
|, , ,||Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].|
|Discoveries (1774) 14: We left our Horses in Mount Pleasant, while we went a milling that Swag, i.e., breaking open that Shop.|
|, ,||Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
|Man of Pleasure’s Illus. Pocket-book n.p.: Fly as a hammer. I goes in this swag—darky’s the thing.|
2. money, either notes and cash, esp. when illicitly gained.
|Narrative of Life before Execution 33: One of them had felt his Pocket, and said there was Swag in it. [...] They found Thirty odd Shillings.|
|Dict. of Turf, Ring, Chase, etc. 167: Swag (the) — store of money. ‘The swag lies up-stairs, in a chest of drawers.’.|
|Felonry of New South Wales 181: In short, having brought with her a supply of the swag, as the convicts call their ill-gotten cash, a wife seldom fails of having her husband assigned to her, in which case the transported felon finds himself his own master.|
|Jorrocks Jaunts (1874) 86: If you’re short of swag, come to Great Coram Street, where you shall have a bed, wear-and-tear for your teeth, and all that sort of thing found you.|
|Bell’s Life in Sydney 9 June 3/3: How they will swear when they see my swags / Landed at Sydney in three bushel bags.|
|Bristol Bill 12/2: ‘We’ll bleed the old covey tonight. D—n him he has had more swag than he’s a right to!’ .[G. Thompson]|
|Mons. Merlin 18 Oct. 6/2: Numismatics seem to afford an unbounded range for the exercise of slang [...] if he receives it [i.e. money], he ‘sweeps up the dibs,’ or ‘pockets the swag,’ or ‘stows away the rowdies;’ to either of which substantives I believe it impossible to assign an etymology or a meaning.|
|Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 81/1: [spoken to a cashbox] Let’s see what’n soart uv a ‘swag’ thou carrys.|
|Scranton Republican (PA) 6 May 1/2: ‘It was the duty of Congress to make the great contractors let go of the ‘swag’ they received by means of abuses.’ ‘What does the gentleman mean by swag?’ ‘I mean undue compensation swelled from $613,000 to $2,200,000’.|
|‘Bail Up!’ 149: Next morning when I went to the bank to collect the swag, they stopped the flimsy, and had me arrested before I could look round.|
|N.Z. Observer 19 May n.p.: [caption] Well. old chappie, that is all my swag. How have you done?|
|Man from Snowy River (1902) 32: And then when I think that they’re ready / To win me a nice little swag.‘Our New Horse’ in|
|Powers That Prey 251: Are you sober enough to give us a song? [...] There’s a good ’ouse to-night, an’ you’ll get a swag if you let ’er run right.|
|Ade’s Fables 9: Those were the days of tall Hustling: If he saw an Opening six inches wide [...] the first thing you knew he was on the Inside demanding a fair cut of the Swag.‘The New Fable of the Private Agitator’ in|
|Chicago May (1929) 78: Ten grand had slipped out of my clutch. The lawyer had showed the swag to me, in the handbag he carried.|
|Flying Aces Nov. [Internet] Colonel, you did not do so good, either. You lost those doughs an’ the swag.‘Crash on Delivery’ in|
|Decade 164: What do you boys think your end of the swag will be? Remember it’s a shrunken estate. There is a widow.|
|‘Mexicana Rose’ in Life (1976) 36: My snakeskin billfold was loaded with swag.et al.|
|Decadence in Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 9: Set up no doubt in pad / contributed by your not inconsiderable swag.|
|Destination: Morgue! (2004) 94: They attempt a heist. Graham pulls a shotgun. The man has no swag.‘Grave Doubt’ in|
|Queer Street 298: After the war she tried / collectin’ swag from the government.‘Vilja de Tanquay Exults’ in|
|The Force [ebook] ‘Fuck, even the Muslims have more swag than you do’.|
3. (orig. UK Und.) a thief’s booty (esp. linen or clothes as opposed to jewels or plate) or a pedlar’s wares.
|Discoveries (1774) 42: I fence Swaggs; I sell Goods.|
|‘Cant Lang. of Thieves’ Monthly Mag. 7 Jan. n.p.: The Swag is safely planted with the Fence, The Property is taken to the Receiver’s House.|
|Sporting Mag. Nov. XIX 87/2: Marshal, when did that man say he would send the swag?|
|Proc. Old Bailey 20 Feb. 163/2: I had information of his house being a fence shop - a shop for buying swags. Court. Q. What is that? - A. Buying stolen property.|
|Vocab. of the Flash Lang. in McLachlan (1964) 272: 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? To carry the swag is to be the bearer of the stolen goods to a place of safety.|
|‘Song of the Young Prig’ in Musa Pedestris (1896) 82: Speak to the rattles, bag the swag, / And finely hunt the dummy.|
|London Eve. Standard 6 Sept. 1/2: A perpetual watch is kept upon the numerous houses where the police are aware ‘swag’ is hourly conveyed.|
|‘My Dimber Mot’ in Regular Thing, and No Mistake 66: For then’s the time to reap the swag, / When cracksmen rum charms ply; / And pigeon-fliers charge a drag, / And natty lads sound cly.|
|Sydney Herald 18 June 4/2: [Y]ou may insinivate that prigging spoons and other swag is making all things equal.|
|Sydney Gaz. 4 June 2/6: There is a villainous gang of thieves [...] who are in the habit of practising numberless schemes, to put themselves in possession of other people's properly. When they havesuccceded in carrying off what they in slang language call a ‘swag,’ they then retire to their den.|
|Swell’s Night Guide 57: schikster: Did you fake the slum, cully, last darky? gonniff: Faked it rumbo: copped the lob, darked the hommo of the cassey, and scarpered with the swag, bona.|
|Paved with Gold 70: To say the truth, Van Diemen Bill had led such a life of suffering and crime that now, in his advanced age, when he found himself no longer capable of the more daring exploits by which heavy ‘swag’ (plunder) could be obtained [...].|
|(con. 1840s–50s) London Labour and London Poor III 432/2: The old man [...] told him of a ‘crib’ they were going to ‘crack,’ and of the heavy ‘swag’ they were likely to get.|
|Vanity Fair (N.Y.) 9 Nov. 216: Pinch all the swag and put the darbies on each nigger.|
|Lays of Ind (1905) 84: They counted out the swag.|
|Five Years’ Penal Servitude 266: A very short residence in the house will tell John Thomas [...] if the ‘swag’ is worth the trying for.|
|Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 20 Dec. 11/3: The search was made and the ‘swag’ [...] disclosed.|
|Dundee Courier (Scot.) 13 Oct. 6/6: I saved a little money and purchased a ‘hardware swag’ — razors, knives, scissors, spectacles.|
|Chronicles of Newgate 203: Then [...] these useful accomplices drove at once to the receiver with the ‘swag’.|
|‘’Arry on Equality’ Punch 22 Feb. 85/2: Normans nicked? Landlords copped? Lawyers fiddled? Quite likely; I dessay they did. / Are they going to hand back the swag arter years? Not a hacre or quid!|
|Boy’s Own Paper 24 Aug. 738: We got the swag to the house of a Waler in the black country.|
|City Of The World 263: Fences don’t advertise [...] so that if you was to go in for a little casual bustin’ on your own, you’d never be able to get quit o’ the swag.|
|Human Side of Crook and Convict Life 12: Sometimes the boys would actually sleep in the warehouses and have a meal there before bothering to remove the ‘swag’.|
|[perf. Florrie Forde] Good ’Eavens, Mrs Evans [lyrics] I’ve met burglars taking home their swag / Also the doctor with his little bag.|
|Shadow Oct. [Internet] We brought in the swag. He held it. That old geezer hatched up new jobs.‘Murder Marsh’ in|
|Indiscreet Guide to Soho 117: There are desperate men in plenty who will drive it for hold-up purposes for a 10 per cent. cut of the swag.|
|Live Like Pigs XVII: Williams! There’s a couple got away across the gardens with some sort of swag.|
|Get Your Ass in the Water (1974) 101: The safes that I’ve cracked and the jewelry I’ve sacked / I laid the swag at her feet.|
|After Hours 66: I know you guys whacked up the swag between you.|
|Wiseguy (2001) 14: Swag came in and out of that place all day long.|
|Homeboy 136: A pro like her never popped a nut until she’d popped the swag.|
|(con. 1964-65) Sex and Thugs and Rock ’n’ Roll 134: [of a prostitute] Hating to give half her hard-earned swag to him every night.|
|Outlaws (ms.) 5: We ’d meet him [...] to divvy up whatever he’d managed to get for the swag.|
|(con. 1973) Johnny Porno 121: My old man used to move swag off the docks out of our basement [...] Somebody on the block was envious gave him up.|
|Finders Keepers (2016) 96: One of them had killed his partners so he could keep all the swag for himself.|
4. any form of goods; also attrib.
|A Canting Academy, or the Pedlar’s-French Dict. n.p.: A Swag Any sort of Goods [...] A quer Swag A few Goods [...] A rum Swag Great many Goods.|
|Vocab. of the Flash Lang.|
|‘Of All The Blowings On The Town’ in Flash Chaunter 5: When I’m in quod, she ne’er forgets, / To bring to me good swags O.|
|Swell’s Night Guide 66: He’s been on the tramp cadge to day, and has copped a decent swag of scran.|
|advert in Vulgar Tongue (1857) 45: Having some ready in his kick – [he] grabbed the chance – stepped home with the swag – and is now safely landed at his crib.|
|Tom Brown at Oxford (1880) 262: Halloa, here’s Drysdale with lots of swag.|
|(con. c.1840) Tom Sawyer 223: I don’t care for her swag – you may have it.|
|Penny Showman 52: Set out with the usual showman’s swag, such as fancy cups and saucers, gaudy vases, shaving mugs, etc.|
|Runyon on Broadway (1954) 210: She comes into Mindy’s with all kinds of swag.‘Broadway Financier’|
|Half a Million Tramps 41: She got as many ‘swag sellers’ and ‘tappers’ as she could to take beds.|
|Other Half 214: She then showed me her swag basket and told me that if she sold the lot she would make about ten pounds profit as it was all cheap swag from Manchester.|
|Capricornia (1939) 214: Today he was not merely old Ganger O’Cannon [...] but old Father Christmas with his swag up.|
|Long and the Short and the Tall Act II: The Nips don’t import fancy swag.|
|White Shoes 260: Crystal’s smuggled a great swag of dope in, a pair of false tits.|
|Outlaws (ms.) 6: Good as gold he were, at the end of the day — just give his swag over nice and easy.|
|Stump 51: This fuckin alky screwed Tommy out of a loader swag an fuckin disappeared.|
5. the trade in small, second-rate articles; also attrib.
|implied in swag shop|
|Street Life in London (1969) 47: The fancy-ware trade – popularly termed ‘swag-selling’ [...] tempted so many of the street folks to take to the ‘swag-board’, the trade has been overdone.|
|Daily Chronicle 25 July 6/5: Another showman described himself as ‘the cheapest man for all kinds of swag watches, all goers’.|
6. a lot or plenty of anything.
|Modern Flash Dict.|
|Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.|
|,||Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.|
|, ,||Sl. Dict.|
|Sydney Sl. Dict. 9/2: Kino, the macing cove, kidded on a dollymop where the bloak’s got a swag of sheen. Kino’s cocum, and he’s stagging to crack the crib. Kino, the housebreaker, enticed a servant-girl (to keep his company) where the master has a quantity of plate. Kino’s wary, and he is watching to break into the house.|
|McCook Trib. (NE) 8 Oct. 2/1: Motta replied that his dad had swags of moneyl.|
|‘Hello, Soldier!’ 21: I was give a gun, ’n’ a bay’net bright, / ’N’ a ’ell of a swag iv work.‘In Hospital’ in|
|Man’s Grim Justice 118: I crashed into a store and stole a swag of crackers and cheese.|
|Capricornia (1939) 446: I’ll give you a good swag of tucker and a cheque.|
|(con. 1936–46) Winged Seeds (1984) 38: Wally sold the business and lit out soon afterwards, leaving Peter a swag of debts to settle.|
|Hang On a Minute, Mate (1963) 98: Tony said a bloke he didn’t like had a whole swag of overfed hens.|
|Bug (Aus.) 25 Aug. [Internet] The vast swag of referees are doing their best to ignore the swearing ban.|
|Sucked In 42: The amalgamation must have increased its membership by a hefty swag.|
|Westside TV 1 Nov. [Internet] Ray BLK learning swag from her mum.|
7. (UK/Aus./N.Z.) the pack carried by an itinerant or vagrant.
|Poverty, Mendicity and Crime; Report 146: ‘What have you done with your swag?’ i.e., your bundle or roll, asked Prime.|
|Bell’s Life in Sydney 6 Dec. 3/1: [U]nder the shelter of its verandah did ‘black Stevey’ lay down his swag and the burthen of his conscience together.|
|Adelaide Obs. (SA) 19 Feb. 2/4: [T]he less lucky votaries of the blind Goddess are compelled to tramp to town, each laden with his indispensable blanket, termed, in the slang of the Gold-field, his ‘swag,’ and with tin pot, revolver, and fossicking knife.|
|T.Aus. Sketches 5: There was the solitary pedestrian, with the whole of his supplies, consisting of a blanket and other necessary articles, strapped across his shoulders: this load is called the ‘swag’ and the mode of travelling ‘swagging it.’.|
|Diggings, the Bush, and Melbourne 2: The packs, or as we were taught to call them, ‘swags,’ began to sit heavy on many of our unaccustomed shoulders.|
|Station Life in N.Z. 126: All the ‘swags’ had to be packed and apportioned for the very long and steep ascent.|
|‘Aus. Colloquialisms’ in All Year Round 30 July 66/2: The ‘swag,’ also sometimes called a ‘drum,’ is the bundle, generally consisting of a large blanket rolled up, which contains the personal luggage of the man who carries, or ‘humps’ it.|
|Robbery Under Arms (1922) 81: I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw [...] nothing left at the camp but the horses and the swags.|
|‘Drover’s Wife’ in Roderick (1972) 50: A gallows-faced swagman [...] threw his swag down on the verandah and demanded tucker.|
|‘Romance of the Swag’ in Roderick (1972) 500: The Australian swag was born of Australia and no other land — of the Great Lone Land of magnificent distances and bright heat; of Self-Reliance, and Never-give-in and help-your-mate.|
|Ballads About Business and Back-Block Life 61: He carried on his back a swag with tent and fly.‘Ned Dunne’|
|Bay of Plenty Times 21 July 2/4: An elderly man [...] passed through Masterton the other day with a swag on his back.|
|On the Anzac Trail 4: [W]e sampled to the full the joys of sleeping on rain-soaked blankets [...] we weren’t sorry to transfer our swags to the more kindly shelter of the huts.|
|Missing Link [Internet] Ch. xvi: Nickie went [...] to work to overhaul an open swag. He took a coat, pair of trousers, a pair of boots, and a hat.|
|Passage 24: He had been known to roll a swag and set off for the ranges.|
|Tramp and Other Stories 25: He was crouching on the floor, long arms resting on his rolled-up swag.|
|(con. 1830s–60s) All That Swagger 68: It was then that the Australian learned to roll a swag and pad the track.|
|AS XVIII:2 Apr. 88: The same method of word formation gives [...] swaggy (also swagger, a tramp carrying a swag).‘Eng. as it is Spoken in N.Z.’ in|
|Wayleggo (1953) 35: We rolled our ‘swags,’ and headed for Glenthorne.|
|Shiralee 7: He had two swags, one of them with legs and a cabbage-tree hat.|
|Yarns of Billy Borker 51: He rolls up his swag and legs it up the opposite bank and down to the railway station.|
|(con. 1941) Gunner 70: Having cops search your swag because you were a stranger in a town.|
|Bastards I Have Known 52: I was riding down the steep Mount Barker Road with my swag.|
|Boys from Binjiwunyawunya 281: ‘Jesus. How goopd’s this joint.’ [...] ‘Somewhere to throw your swag, I s’pose’.|
|Penguin Bk of More Aus. Jokes 434: The first bloke had decamped. He’d disappeared, leaving only a scrap of paper under a stone where his swag had been.|
|Indep. Rev. 12 Aug. 6: He preferred to sleep on the floor [...] in his swag, a bush bedroll, rather than in the king-size bed.|
|Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 204: swag Backpack of the tramp, who is known as a swagger/swaggie/swagman.|
|Chopper 4 71: I had every clear intention of asking the lovely Mary-Ann to pick up her swag and boot off down the road.|
|Crime Factory: Hard Labour [ebook] I’d placed the two swags as near the fire as possible.‘In Savage Freedom’ in|
8. (UK Und.) a share in booty.
|Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. (2nd edn).|
|, ,||Sl. Dict.|
9. a trader in small articles, the keeper of a swag shop
|(con. 1840s–50s) London Labour and London Poor I 349/2: Himself formerly a street-seller, now ‘a small swag’.|
|Street Life in London (1969) 47: I’ll back myself again any ‘cove’ to make a living; I sell so cheap I’ve broke the h’arts of every blessed ‘swag’ in the Cut.|
10. (US Und.) a bribe.
|Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 7 Sept. n.p.: It would not do to convict Dan or Jack Tierney, they are too valuable auxiliaries to the detective department, in turning over big ‘swags’ to the department, whereby twenty thousand dollars can be made in a day.|
11. a robbery.
|Gay-cat 62: Scar-face Mike Hagan thet has slept in the swellest hotels in Philly and York and Chi [...] when I pulled down a good clean swag.|
12. (UK und.) cheap jewellery or other small articles.
|Thieves Slang ms list from District Police Training Centre, Ryton-on-Dunsmore, Warwicks 11: Swag: Cheap jewellery and haberdashery.|
13. (drugs) cannabis.
|OnLine Dict. of Playground Sl. [Internet] swag n. cannabis.|
14. free merchandise given away at publicity events.
|Baltimore Sun (MD) 30 Jan. E1/1: Swag — or ‘schwag’ [...] is the name for gift bags that are handed out at parties [...] A Sundance Channel party was known to be a major swag outlet.|
|UNC-CH Campus Sl. Spring 2014 14: SWAG — free desirable merchandise: ‘You should go to the event. They have lots of free swag’.(ed.)|
15. (UK black) vocabulary, terminology.
|Eve. Standard 4 July 8/4: ‘The [gang] words originate from Jamaican patois and then get mixed up with new swag from the youngers when they in prison. [...] Jail is where the new words come from’.|
16. see swag shop
1. lacking booty.
|Lincoln Eve. News (NE) 29 June 2/4: [headline] Swagless Swiggers. Tipplers and Suspicious Men Up in Court.|
|Marvel 15 May 14: A couple of swagless, though well-fed burglars.|
|Chicago Dly Trib. 21 Nov. 6/3: The loot squad homeward plods its swagless way.|
2. (US) in sport, lacking in score.
|News-Messenger (Fremont, OH) 18 Mar. B4/5: Several players had uncharacteristically swagless games.|
in the manner of an intinerant’s pack.
|Wkly Times (Melbourne) 4 Jan. 5/2: He [...] pillaged the larder for bread, scones, tarts - anything he could lay his grimy paws upon. He rolled them swagwise in a kitchen towel.|
a street-seller of miscellaneous goods; thus swag-barrow, his cart.
|(con. 1840s–50s) London Labour and London Poor I 355/1: Of these swag-barrowmen, there are not less than 150. [...] The tinwares of the swag-barrows are nutmeg-graters, bread-graters, beer-warmers, fish-slices, goblets, mugs, save-alls, extinguishers, candle-shades, money-boxes, children’s plates, and rattles. [Ibid.] 447/1: At the back and sides of the swag-barrow are generally articles which are best displayed in an erect position [...] The miscellaneous dealers of whom I am treating, who are known among street-folk as ‘swag-barrowmen,’ or in the popular ellipsis, ‘penny swags’.|
|Mudlark 212: Ben Fox, the tosher; Iron George, the swag-barrow man; Mrs. Feeney, the hurdy-gurdy woman.|
(UK Und.) a criminal receiver’s shop or store; thus swag-chovey bloke/bloak, a marine store dealer.
|Dict. of the Flash or Cant Lang. 168: The paper makers get the tats and [...] fence the milky ones with some swag chovey bloak.|
|Cheltenham Chron. 4 Feb. 4/4: I took them [i.e. stolen goods] to a Swag Chovey Bloak.|
|Vulgar Tongue 39: [as cit. 1839].|
|glossary in Occurence Book of York River Lockup in (1999) 37: I took them to a swag chovey bloak and got 6 finnips and a cooter for the yacks.|
|Derbyshire Courier 12 Dec. 7/1: Local Flash language [...] A swag chovey bloak, a marine store dealer who buys stolen property.|
|Sydney Sl. Dict. 9/2: The paper makers get the tats, and never tip the mots a posh, but fence the milky ones with some swag chovey bloak. The men who pretend they are from a paper mill obtain the rags, and never pay the women (of the houses they call at) anything, and then sell the white rags to some marine store dealer.|
|Sun (NY) 10 July 29/4: Here is a genuine letter written in thieves’ slang, recently found by the English police [...] I know a lavender cove and a swag chovey bloke that will toke [sic] some of the white jacks.|
(UK Und.) a receiver of stolen goods.
|Life 67: I performed the part of a swag cove through the Carse of Gowrie, where I disposed of most of the stockings. Having got to Dundee, we fenced the thaan to a broker and flash-cove, named James Davidson.|
a thief specializing in silk; cit. 1882 is slightly mis-defined.
|Professional Thieves and Detectives 59: Silk robberies, or, in criminal parlance, [...] ‘swag-getters’.|
see separate entries.
a shop that deals wholesale in cheap articles.
|Boxiana 2nd Ser. II 74: It is impossible to describe the applause bestowed upon Delay by the boys of the Blue Anchor, the Cock and Cross, and the Ship and Gun, near the great swag shop in the east.|
|Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. 105: swag-shop, a warehouse where ‘Brummagem’ and general wares are sold, fancy trinkets, plated goods, &c. Jews are the general proprietors, and the goods are excessively low priced, trashy, and showy.|
|(con. 1840s–50s) London Labour and London Poor I 267/1: All these street-sellers obtain their supplies at the ‘swag-shops’. [Ibid.] 333/2: The slaughterer sells by retail; the swag-shop keeper only by wholesale. [Ibid.] 335/2: One of the largest ‘swags’ made such an allowance to a street-seller last week.|
|Dundee Courier (Scot.) 6 May 7/4: I’ll buy a swag in the blinks line. I know something of that business.|
|Dundee Courier 15 Sept. 7/5: The shop was what we call a swag shop, or in plain English, a Birmingham and Sheffield warehouse.|
|Sheffield Dly Teleg. 21 Dec. 8/1: If the cutlers worked for nothing but honour it would only serve the swag shop or shoddy manufacturer, to cut each other’s throats in selling their goods .|
|Manchester Eve. News 19 June 2/5: He had said that he got the stuff at a ‘swag shop’ in Withy Grove [...] but to-day he admitted stealing it from a shop in Oldham.|
|Leamington Spa Courier 13 Sept. 7/1: The ‘swag’ shop is the slang name given by tramps to the establishments at which they are in the habit of purchasing their wares.|
|Adventures of Johnny Walker 166: There may not be a swag-shop (a shop where hawkers are supplied) near.|
|Cheapjack 199: There are many swag shops in Manchester.|
|Eve. Herald (Dublin) 9 Jan. 15/2: [advert] The Swag Shop [...] Vast Selection of Pound Shop Lines Our price 89p.|
|Liverpool Echo 27 July 34/1: [advert] The Swag Shop Supporting Kids in Need.|
see separate entry.
see swagman n.1
(US Und.) a disappointing haul from a robbery.
(N.Z.) a tramp.
|Early Runholding in Otago 12: The class of wayfarers [...] were always called swaggers in Otago. These ‘gentlemen of the swag’ were not in evidence until after the gold diggings broke out.|
(Aus./N.Z.) to travel as an itinerant.
|Westralian Worker (Perth, WA) 14 Apr. 1/2: The ‘pommy,’ not knowing the ropes, and being in a strange land, will accept a pound or thirty shillings—he’s got to; or else starve or go on the ‘swag’.|
|Newcastle Sun (NSW) 13 Oct. 5/5: Before he left he asked her if she would go on the swag with him but she said she could not as her child was too young.|
|(con. 1930s) Loner 63: I want a shakedown [... I’m on the swag.|
|Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 51/2: go on the swag become a tramp; eg ‘During the Great Depression, many men had no choice but to go on the swag. There was nothing for them to do at home.’.|
|Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. [as cit. 1988].|
(Aus./N.Z.) to carry a pack; note cit. 1861 refers to a tea-chest; cit. 1907 uniquely refers to S. Afr.
|[||Empire (Sydney) 17 Oct. 2/4: [in context of mining] From the hill at the Razorback side of Oakey, the Messrs. Owen [...] are ‘humping the swag’ to the washing hole, and doing fairly; but the labour is immense].|
|Two Years in Victoria (1855) I 226: He ‘humped his swag’, in diggers’ phrase, that is, shouldered his pack.|
|Bell’s Life in Sydney 16 Feb. 3/6: The missing demi-chest was [...] on the back of Mr. Hannon, who, as the porters were all engaged, had condescendingly ‘humped the swag’.|
|Knocking About in N.Z. vi: When he meets with some unpretending fellow [...] who has ‘humped his swag’ into strange lands, and traversed the ‘wallaby-track’ under the direst conditions.in Money|
|Roughing It in Van Diemen’s Land 29: They were to travel on foot, ‘humping the swag’.|
|Man from Snowy River (1902) 84: The lonely swagman through the dark / Must hump his swag past Chandos Park.‘On Kiley’s Run’ in|
|‘Send Round the Hat’ in Roderick (1972) 476: You don’t expect ’em to hump their swags to Sydney!|
|Jock of the Bushveld 14: The Lydenburg Goldfields prospectors ‘humping their swags’ or driving their small pack-donkeys.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 18 Aug. Red Page/4: [T]he pen-name stands for Edwin Greenslade Murphy, who humped his swag and took to dryblowing in the early days of Coolgardie.|
|Haxby’s Circus 43: Billy humped a swag for this act.|
|Ghosts of the Big Country 112: And the time had come, the shearer knew, / To hump the swag outback.|
(Aus./N.Z.) to start thinking of leaving one job and going in search of another.
|Popular Dict. Aus. Sl.|
|Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 110/1: look for one’s swagstraps consider looking for another job.|
|Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. [as cit. 1988].|
a seller of penny lots.
|(con. 1840s–50s) London Labour and London Poor I 447/2: The miscellaneous dealers of whom I am treating, who are known among street-folk as ‘swag-barrowmen,’ or, in the popular ellipsis, ‘penny swags’.|