Hello ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, lovers and most certainly haters. Today we are going to talk about the word SWAG. Now I know some of you may be looking at the screen, with that head tilted to the side puppy-dog puzzled look right now. And if you are, you sir or mam have been withheld from pop culture for at least the last five years. And that, is just sad. But today we are not here to reprimand or commend you on your knowledge or lack thereof of the word Swag. We are here to discuss why I do not like the word. No! Not liking it understates the pure nails-on-a-chalkboard hatred that engulfs my ears every time I hear the word. I utterly and totally despise the word SWAG. If swag was in a desert and needed my saliva to survive, I wouldn’t give a spit. Its mere S.T.I. image inducing phonetic, grinds my gears to a borderline systems overload and a “Hulk Smash” reflex. To explain why I hate it so much, I really just need to say two words: Soulja Boy. Ughhhhh! But, to solely blame him would be irresponsible and wouldn’t hold accountability to the countless other influential pop-culture culprits who have used and continue to uphold that God-awful word. Names like Lil B, T.I., and Lil Wayne come to mind.
What Is Swag? (Past)
To get to the basis of why I’d like to r.i.p. the word Swag, we must first discuss exactly what it is. If we were to go back in time on a Magic School Bus we would probably see pirates heisting ships to get “booty” and “swag.” Now now everyone, settle down. Let’s not confuse these words with the words in Soulja Boy’s atrocious and utterly degrading single, “Booty Got Swag.” Starting to see why I also hate Soulja Boy? Oh, you will. “Booty” back in those days referenced the “loot” or the items of value that pirates stole. And swag in that sense followed the Wikipedia spawned acronym: Stuff We All Get. It is my understanding that the two words were pretty much synonymous.
What is Swag? (Present)
Now, blasting back into the present, we look at today’s meaning of the word swag. Oh and by the way, I know that today’s swag also references free promotional gear that companies are known to give away. That is not the swag I wish a violent, ceremonial death upon. The swag I am referencing is the Swag that is an abbreviation for the word “Swagger” and is also often referred to as “Swagga.” According to urbandictionary.com, Swag in its simplest terms refers to, “the way one carries their self.” This definition is close, but not the same meaning as what you will find for the word Swagger on merriam-webster.com. That’s right, Swagger is in the real dictionary. Anywho, merriam-webster says “Swagger” is, “to conduct oneself in an arrogant or superciliously pompous manner; especially : to walk with an air of overbearing self-confidence.” They also write that it is synonymous with the words “Boast” and “Brag.” Ah Ha! We’re getting somewhere ladies and gentleman. It is this definition that gets to the core of what swag really is; An uplifting phrase for the braggadocios, low self-esteemers who need to label their cockiness in a way that attempts to make them seem less cocky, but in my book, fails. Me being a person who finds arrogance to be a very negative trait, you are probably beginning to see why I hate the word so much.
Where Is Swag?
With swag being what I like to refer to as the most overused, overrated word in today’s pop-culture, it has to exist everywhere right? Right? Here are some places you can find the word Swag.
Song Titles: Been Had Swag, Check My Swag, Dope Boy Swag, Found My Swag, Get My Swagger Back, I Got Swag, My Swag, Peepin Swagg, Pledge Allegiance to the Swag, Pretty Boy Swag, Swag, Swag Back, Swag Flu, Swag Me Out, Swag Sex, Swag Surfin, Swag Through the Roof, Swag OD, Swagga Talk, Swagga on 100, Swagger Daggers, and Turn My Swag On and many more. (Can you guess how many of these songs feature Soulja Boy?…It will surprise you…or not. LoL)
Artist names: SWAG, Cali Swag District, King Swagg, and more.
My Case Against Swag
Reason 1: Most people who use the word swag don’t actually have any. Swag is associated with money, riches, luxury, being fresh, flashy, and F.L.Y. (Pun Intended) Like the majority of the songs emphasize and flaunt, swag has a direct correlation to money and owning things that having a lot of it can buy. I don’t mind these rich people talking about they have swag. Because if swag is associated with money, than they really do have swag. It’s the no-name rappers, the college kids (who in most cases are broke), your average person basically. If you are not in an upper level tax bracket, I feel as though Swag should not be a part of your vocabulary.
Reason 2: I am not a fan of fads or trends. When the phrase “Bling Bling” was popularized in the late nineties it basically dominated the airwaves and television screens. And it was good until we realized it would remain in pop-cultures lexicon for the next four to six years. I treat the word Swag in a similar case, except I think that because I’m a lot older now and less influential, what is associated with swag doesn’t appeal to me. If I were materialistic or full of myself and always trying to keep up with the latest trends like most of today’s youth is, maybe I’d throw the word swag around as if it were my life’s blood. Just blurt it out at random times in a fashion that some people whose names I will not reveal do.
So there you have it. Swag sucks! Originality is king. Get a new motto people. Stop being sheep! Unless you’re a rich sheep. Then you can brush your teeth with swag, smack peons with swag, and get it tatted on your chest like Tupac if you fancy to. But until then, upgrade and update your lexicon and think of a new, better catch phrase. NO SWAG FOR YOU!