Is it SWAG or Schwag?

So, I’m in the midst of reading the current RunnersWorld issue and come across an item marked, "Best race ever for Schwag."

And, it strikes me that I’ve seen many spellings (and pronunciations) for what’s better known as branded merchandise.

So, which is it? Futurist, wizard, bon vivant and raconteur par excellence Watts Wacker told me in no uncertain terms that the word is SWAG and is an acronym for "Stuff We All Get.’"Dictionary

So, how come I see so many other versions with the "schwag" spelling? And, why does everyone give it a guttural Yiddish/Hebrew/Jewish pronunciation?

So, help me blogosphere. I’m confused and would like to be straightened out. Ordinarily, I couldn’t care less. But, I love getting and wearing SWAG/schwag and want to be sure I’m using the preferred spelling.

10 thoughts on “Is it SWAG or Schwag?

  1. SWAG = Stuff We All Get
    Schwag = Well, if you’re a Curb Your Enthusiasm fan, it needs no explanation! 🙂

  2. Hi Kyra. Thanks for the note. Re: running, I highly recommend the East River course over Central Park. The latter can be jammed, hilly and hot. With the East River course, start at the East 34th Street heliport, head South along the river and follow signs over the Brooklyn Bridge. You can either double back over the B’lyn Bridge (and get some spectacular views of lower Manhattan) or continue North on the B’lyn side and come back over the Williamsburg Bridge. The course is closer to half-marathon length than the 17 miles you’re looking to do, but the views are amazing.

  3. Steve,
    I am Kyra Oliver, Vice President of Interactive with CRT/tanaka. I ran across this post and have nothing to say about SWAG other than it is usually typical stuff and the free shirts are always way too big for me making them useless. As well, I think there is little to be said about the design/graphic treatment of such items. Nonetheless, I hope that others enjoy the SWAG. It remined me of the XTerra Xduro 21K that I did recently. One bag of SWAG included all things for dogs. Do all runners have dogs? I don’t (used to)…What I found to be more interesting is that you are obviously a runner. I am going to be in the city this weekend and need to do 17 miles. Do you have a recommendation on a route. Is there a good map of Central Park, perhaps, where I can plan my route.

  4. Oh how about Tchotskies or is it chotchkies or is it chotzkies? I just say flair.

  5. I was just giving the origin of the term, which goes back many, many generations and is certainly not “Stuff We All Get.”

  6. See that Bubbles, many people have many different interpretations. I forget which race, Bob, but believe it was one of the rock n’ roll marathons. Good luck with the Chitown gig. I’ve just signed up to run the Philly marathon on T’giving.

  7. I’ve only heard SWAG, particularly in context of lavish gifts given to Hollywood A-types.
    So, which race does have the best SWAG? I’m hoping the Chicago Marathon, since I’m running it.

  8. Schwag is Yiddish for trinket. It may have more meanings now, and some unknowing folks have “Americanized” the word to SWAG, but the genesis of the term is Jewish. (And the anacronym Stuff We All Get is just childish.)