Skip to Content

What Is The Difference Between Schwag And Swag? (Answered)

What Is The Difference Between Schwag And Swag? (Answered)

Both swag and schwag are almost identical terms and can be used interchangeably. However, they may have several meanings in different parts of the world. The word“swag”, also used with a different spelling, “schwag”, first appeared in 1960. It was probably due to the Yiddish influence that “swag” was transformed into “schwag”.

“Swag” actually originated from “sveggja,” a word in North Germanic language that means “to swing”. Therefore, swag meant a heavy bundle that swayed the body when carried. Perhaps, that is the reason why Australian workers who traveled on foot for their jobs along with their “swags” (heavy rolled bedding) were referred to as swagsman.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the term was used by English pirates who referred to their stolen goods as “swag,” whereas, Scandanavian thieves called it Schwag. There were swag shops that used to sell cheap and trivial items.

Nowadays, swag or schwag refers to the souvenirs or promotional products given to participants of an event or ceremony.

Moreover, people also use the word “swag” for anyone looking stylish, cool, and fabulous.

The word swag or schwag can be used as a verb, noun, or adjective. Let’s see the meaning and differences of these words in detail.

SCHWAG or SWAG: When Used As A Noun

Small tokens or souvenirs given to people for advertisement are often called schwag or swag.

Swag or Schwag is a slang word that means promotional items given away by a company for the publicity of their product.

When you attend a promotional event of any business or company, or if you are a prominent social media celebrity, you might have taken part in the giveaways.

Another meaning of the word “schwag” as a noun is Marijuana which is of low quality. If you’re commenting on bad-quality marijuana, that means you’re referring to schwag.

In terms of Textile

Swag can also be defined as a loop of curtains decorating your windows. You might have seen the swinging of curtains in your house. Have you noticed something about their fabric? It is draping here and there. This can be a similar case in denim.

So, swag is used as a noun to define the draping window coverings, like the curtains in the office window.

Decorative loops of fabric draping a window
Decorative loops of curtains are also known as”swag.”

When Referring To A Depression In The Ground

Let’s discuss another example: the word swag also means a low spot or depression in the ground, particularly the one where water collects. It is a ditch or a pit where water accumulates.

When Referring To Decorative Wreaths

A wreath of flowers and fruits for decoration is also called “swag”. Many people are fond of gardening. They love to do it in their leisure time. Some people love to do interior design and pursue it as a profession. We all love flowers; we also like fresh fruits.

What would be more beautiful than a garland hanging on your door with these fruits and flowers? A beautifully carved swag of flowers and fruit is aesthetically pleasing. It gives us immense pleasure when we notice it.

SWAG Used As A Verb

It is also used as a verb.

It refers to the style of a person

When you are outside your house or standing on your balcony, search for someone carrying his belongings on his shoulders, wrapped up in a sack, and walking slowly on the road. The heavy sack would make his body sway. It is also called swag.

A staggering person

A person coming out of the bar, fully drunk, might swag. The condition of being unable to control movements and looking as if one will fall is also called swag.

If you see such a person, try to lend a helping hand to him. A sudden accidental situation can also occur while walking on the road. Your help can save the life of a person.

SWAG Used As An Adjective

Both words swag and schwag are also used as adjectives.

Style and personality of an individual

Swag also refers to the overall personality of an individual and how someone carries himself/herself. It means how chic, stylish, and confident a person is. In other words, if we say someone’s got swag, it indicates that he/she is fashionable and cool.

On the other hand, schwag as an adjective means inferior, substandard, or bad quality.

Learn different meanings of the word “Swag”.

SCHWAG or SWAG: Difference due to languages

We have previously discussed the meaning of “swag” or “schwag” related to thieves. The difference is due to German and British accents. When a British burglar enters a building or a house to steal something, that stuff is called swag. On the other hand, if a German burglar does the same thing, they call it schwag. So, there is a tiny difference in accent, both referring to the same.

SCHWAG or SWAG: Usage for promotional items

Generally, swag and schwag are both words used for promotional purposes, such as sending gifts to the employees working in the company. Companies give items to employees on several occasions or as a gesture to reward them for their excellent performance throughout their tenure.

So, we will generally discuss some of the swag ideas you can provide your employees and make them happy. You will be going to see a difference in their performance. Not only are employees entertained with it, but also you’ll be able to retain your customers and clients.

Amazing Swag or Schwag Ideas

If you are deciding to find some brilliant swag ideas to offer your customers, then that’s a brilliant decision. A business grows when you build connections. Furthermore, purposeful organization swag or schwag can assist you in growing your business.

Individuals love free things, particularly if the things are useful as well. Monitoring what’s hot and what is not can assist you with giving out more significant schwag/swag this year.

Let’s list down-trending swags.

  • Drinking Containers/Water Bottle/Lunch Boxes/Mugs

People love to drink beverages. Some people are fond of consuming it in their favorite mugs. Little children like to take their favorite lunch boxes to school. A marked piece of excellent drinkware or glassware is a great choice of swag to be made. Nowadays, there are countless innovative choices for customized items.

Special drinkware and lunch boxes are made airtight to keep coffee, tea, or food items warm for a long time. There can be other creative ways to craft these swags according to consumer demand.

  • Tour Items

Tourism is becoming incredibly important. Come up with stunning travel swags that will make traveling simpler for customers. If you or your employees are departing for company meetings or newlyweds decide to go on a honeymoon, provide them with innovative swags that will promote your brand while helping them on their trip.

A stylish handbag
A stylish handbag
  • Stylish Handbags

Specially marked handbags can act as an amplifier for your image. In addition to being one of the most valuable swag things available, they’ll be quite beneficial for your company.

You can strongly reflect your organization’s image by making stylish handbags with great design. Receiving such wonderfully designed bags with top-notch weaving will give recipients a positive image of your company.

  • Amazing Bag packs

These days most people are dumping conventional luggage bags and picking up more versatile and useful backpacks. These bags with your company’s monogram can be beneficial for your business.

  • Home and office essentials

Home and office essentials can be extraordinary swags. Look out for things that are useful both at home and at the office. Some essential swags must be practical, less complex, and straightforward.

  • Special Innovative Tech Items

Everybody cherishes a great piece of innovation. Also, with so many different tech things out there, you’ll get many swag ideas. Some may be remote speakers, USB drives, marked power banks, remote chargers, and earphones.

Wow! look at her swag!
Wow! Look at her swag.
  • Clothing

Clothing items are the most lovable swag things for clients, representatives, and attendees. In addition to the fact that it can be worn at gatherings, it flaunts a positive image and promotes your business.

Cozy jackets and branded slim fit or straight pants and shirts can be perfect swag. Fun items like marked beanies or customized socks can also be utilized as presents for new representatives.

  • Swag Items

Swag packages and custom-made boxes are a perfect method to establish a connection with your clients. Fill a custom gift box with a mixture of different things and an appreciation letter that clients and workers will be eager to share.


  • Swag and schwag are similar terms used interchangeably.
  • They originated from different languages, with “swag” from North Germanic and “schwag” from German.
  • In the past, “swag” was used by English pirates to refer to stolen goods.
  • Today, swag/schwag often refers to promotional items given by companies.
  • These terms can also describe stylish individuals and low-quality marijuana.
  • “Swag” can refer to decorative curtain loops and depressions in the ground.
  • Swag can be used as a noun, verb, or adjective.
  • Offering swag can be a great promotional strategy for businesses.

Other Articles

Skip to content