In Defense of SWAG

28 Feb
old-spice-guy horse

Look at your man. Now back at me.


SWAG is a word I haven’t given much thought to until recently and only now because I hear it used around my house a lot, usually by my children. My eldest uses it to proclaim something as good, as in,  “I’ve got so much SWAG people call me SWAGENSTEIN” or “You’ve got no SWAG because you are ratchet.” My youngest tends to use it when he is pretending to be his brother, then he shakes his head and says “teens”, and it fits, even though his brother is only 11.

Urban Dictionary, and I am quoting Urban Dictionary below so be prepared to shield your eyes if you are offended by curse words, defines SWAG as follows:


The most used word in the whole fucking universe. Douche bags use it, your kids use it, your mail man uses it, and your fucking dog uses it. If you got swag, you generally wear those shitty hats side way, and your ass hanging out like a fucking goof cause your pants are half way down your white ass legs.

So far in my house SWAG comes with extra helpings of bravado and sass but is not accompanied by hats, shitty or otherwise, besides baseball hats worn just the regular old way, and nobody’s ass hangs out.  My 8 year old refuses to zip the zipper of his jeans but that is a whole other issue and not SWAG-related.

I can’t help but notice when reading my eldest son’s text messages (something his dad and I do. Privacy schmivarcy) that SWAG runs rampant among his friends as well. I don’t mean actual SWAG, that is up for debate I suppose, but the use of the word.

It is interesting to me that his friends who are boys put up pictures of themselves and caption them “just about to get my SWAG workout on” or “so SWAG it’s sick” and his friends who are girls post cutesy pictures of themselves and caption them “an okay picture I guess” or “making a weird face.” I wonder how it would go down if a girl showed signs of SWAG? Believe me, I am not enforcing these roles, just observing them.

I suppose it makes sense that my son and his friends would embrace SWAG because it is a term I see used often in regards to athletes and my eldest identifies himself as a “jock.” The football home video game, Madden ’13, even gives you a chance to give the players a “swagger rating” that enables them to walk around and make one-handed catches, all super cool-like, or SWAGerrific, or some such term.

SWAG is not necessarily a BAD thing I presume. When I think of qualities I hope my children have in healthy doses, confidence is on the list, and I suppose SWAG can be equated with confidence or high self esteem.  My eldest seems to be the least confident of my two boys. He is VERY concerned about what others think about him and he finds it very important to closely identify with his peers, and he has always been that way. My youngest has always been the opposite. He doesn’t really care if his brother, or anybody else, thinks his dancing or singing or Tae Kwon Do or other various things he does makes him “ratchet.” He enjoys those things so he is going to do them.

My confidence vacillates between non-existent and delusional, usually resting somewhere in the middle.  However, those swings do still occur, even at 43 years old. I think I am just better at not letting myself end up in a black hole of depression and failure or work myself into a lather by wondering how I could possibly still be broke/single/not a television icon at this point because I am SO awesome.

I hope both the boys find themselves comfortable in their skin and with who they are, SWAG or no SWAG. Hopefully I can figure out a way to keep the confidence of SWAG and sweep away the sass and about half of the bravado.  Sideways hats and asses hanging out of pants is even negotiable should they choose to embrace that style of SWAG-wear.  Just take the sass. Please.


Nothing wrong with working at McDonald’s. Big family history of McDonald’s…this made me giggle though.

8 Responses to “In Defense of SWAG”

  1. donofalltrades February 28, 2013 at 10:46 pm #

    Good lesson! When I hear SWAG I immediately think douchebag, but I may lack enough SWAG to understand.

    • Amy March 1, 2013 at 2:56 am #

      Honestly, my mind still goes right to douchebag too sometimes. I think this is me trying to hope beyond hope that something good can be made of all this SWAG stuff he is throwing around. I know it’s a front in his case.

      I learned pretty early on in the whole parenting gig the importance of picking battles. I would LIKE to convince him to focus on something else instead of SWAG. Harry Potter is cool, or how about we start a rock collection…but that’s not who this kid is. He will find himself, and I am prepared for the person he finds to be covered in SWAG.

    • Amy March 1, 2013 at 2:57 am #

      Also, thanks for reading 🙂

  2. Anna Lea West March 1, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    Love it. My most immediate thought isn’t necessarily negative (of the word). Since I’m a once-closeted-but-can’t-fight-it-any-longer Belieber … I don’t think I mind it as much. He prefers the “swaggy” version, lol. Laughing, but anyway, good read!!

    • Amy March 1, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

      Oh the Biebs has won me over as well. Thanks for reading!

  3. muddledmom March 1, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

    I hope SWAG doesn’t make its way into this house. When it does, I find that if I use it more than the kids, they’ll move onto something else. After all, I’m no SWAGENSTEIN. 😉

    • Amy March 1, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

      Oh YOU are brilliant! I just need to start using the term a LOT and it will fall out of favor. Still, I am left with the sass…but that is a whole other issue I suppose.

      Thank you for reading 🙂

  4. Joker March 20, 2013 at 8:22 pm #

    ROTFLMAO!!!! Oh I need oxygen here…I am laughing so hard. You see? As i am reading this all I see is Austin Powers saying, “Who needs swag when you have MOJO!” ROTFLMAO!!!!

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