What does SWAG mean to you?

SWAG is an acronym that is often used in the promotional products industry as an all encompassing term for the “Stuff We All Get.” An all inclusive term the various items companies purchase imprinted with their logo for the purpose of giving away to customers, clients, prospects and employees.

SWAG - Stuff We All GetI recently realized the danger of using the slang term outside of the industry when a new referral and I were discussing promos, and I asked what kind of SWAG they were purchasing, and what has been most effective for them in the past. I received a very puzzled expression in return. Further discussion revealed that in their industry that same acronym was commonly used to mean “Stupid Wild @$$ Guess.” In that context the conversation within their industry would go something like this:

Engineering department calls up purchasing department and wants the components to make 100 new widgets, they would ask: “What’s your swag on the cost of that?” meaning “without doing all the research in sourcing and quoting this project, what is your stupid wild @$$ guess on how much of my budget this purchase is going to consume?”

My first thought was that this was a random company culture issue, and a single company had seredipitously generated the same acroynym, and then it happened again in a completely different vertical market. Once again their definition of swag was “stupid wild @$$ guess.” In this context a project manager calls up a sub contracting company to come in and clean up an environmental impact site and the conversation looks like this: “We need a crew of X guys in here ASAP to excavate and reclaim contaminated soil and replace with clean fill. What’s your swag on the that?” meaning “without doing all the research in sourcing and quoting this project, what is your stupid wild @$$ guess on how much it is going to cost to get this fixed immediately.”

Any one else been running into this? What does SWAG mean to you?