swag (swag) noun. A very high degree of belief in one's own abilities; extreme self-confidence.

Usage example: Gilbert Arenas really let his swag hang out when he dropped a 32-foot, buzzer-beating, game-winning bomb on the Milwaukee Bucks last night.

Word History: Swag is a shortened version of the word "swagger," with a slightly modified meaning. It was seemingly coined by Gilbert Arenas about Gilbert Arenas. After
downing the Bucks at the buzzer with an improbable shot from area code range, Arenas said, "My swag was phenomenal." Said teammate Antawn Jamison, "We call it swag. Gil has a great amount of swag out there." But was is swag, exactly? You can't call it confidence, because it's more like a sublime and otherworldly self-assurance. It isn't overconfidence, because Arenas really has been walking the walk lately (just ask Kobe about the 60 Gilbert "chucked" on him, or ask the Suns about the 54 that ended their 15-game win streak, etc.). It isn't arrogance either, because Arenas hasn't been rubbing it in or degrading his opponents. In the end, having swag is just being really freaking good at what you do, knowing it, and enjoying the hell out of it.

swag
That, my friends, is pure swag.

Update: We received a comment from an anonymous reader that said:

"Good definition, but definitely *not* coined by Gilbert. The word has been around for years--it's a hip hop word that is slow to be discovered by the usually overwhelmingly non-hip hop blogosphere. See, for example, Jay-Z's (even then, mainstream rap) song Dec. 4 (released 2003). In fact, 'swag' is just short for 'swagger,' which the OED defines as "the action of swaggering; external conduct or personal behaviour marked by an air of superiority or defiant or insolent disregard of others." Sounds like Gilbert."
Wow. Now I totally feel like an out-of-touch, uninformed cracker. I thought "swag" was probably some sort of hip hop slang, but I was too lazy to do any research. I just checked Urban Dictionary, where one (of the many) definition of swag is "To move over an area of surface with C.A.S (confidence, appearance, and style) by taking steps with the feet at a pace slower than a run." That's the closest match they had, and it kind of describes what Arenas does after he hits a big shot. I also checked several online rap and hip hop dictionaries, but none of them had any entries for swag. If only we could get a definition from Gilbert himself...
4 Comments:
Blogger totoro said...
Nice definition. I added a link to this post on Gilbertology.net

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Good definition, but definitely *not* coined by Gilbert. The word has been around for years--it's a hip hop word that is slow to be discovered by the usually overwhelmingly non-hip hop blogosphere. See, for example, Jay-Z's (even then, mainstream rap) song Dec. 4 (released 2003).

In fact, 'swag' is just short for 'swagger,' which the OED defines as "the action of swaggering; external conduct or personal behaviour marked by an air of superiority or defiant or insolent disregard of others." Sounds like Gilbert.

Blogger Mr T said...
I'm not sure why you gave that cat credit for correcting you about the word "swag". Did you or did you not state, "Swag is a shortened version of the word swagger, with a slightly modified meaning" already, just like he did?

Although not coined by Arenas (and Jay-Z prob stole it from someone else already), as he points out, it definitely has a different meaning when it comes from a true ballaholic....dare I say, like how we tried to take the n-word back from white people and give it a diff meaning? Bad example, since we're fucking morons for doing that, but nonetheless you grasp.

You authors got it right hombre; I think that folker just wanted to sound smart, but all he did was copy and paste the dictionary defintion of the word "swagger". Kudos for getting into the blog using fakery.

Let me guess, this guy's name was Merriam Webster? Someone revoke his ghetto pass like we did Cuba Gooding.

Stand up for yourself guys. Jesus. Arenas has SWAG, and although Joe Camel apparently said it in 2003, Arenas is that fool who will put the term front and center a la "hibachi" and "good shot". Jay-Z will eventually find, and steal, another term to try and coin as his own, but Arenas plays ball and doesn't buy teams to offest his lack of real game.

Blogger NegritoLindo said...
hahaha MrT took the words right out of my mouth -- Jay actually stole it (because he's a biter) from his OWN labelmates, The Diplomats. Cam'ron was talking about swag even before the Black Album reference that my dude brought up earlier. And God knows we were saying that in Harlem even before that.

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