The origin of the word “swag” is appropriate since we are now in Mardi Gras season.
Swag, as a bag to haul stuff around in, has been used for half a century in one form or another. The version we use today – the free crap you get from car dealers, trade shows, and Mardi Gras floats – first appeared around the 1920s. During that time, it referred specifically to the sort of crap folks got from fairground showmen. From a bag to haul your crap in, to the crap you haul in your bag, either way swag has got it.
I hope my husband doesn’t bring home more Zulu coconuts in is Mardi Gras swag bags. Although the coconuts are highly coveted and deserve the utmost respect, when you see forty three of them (he rigorously counts them) in your living room on a daily basis, the charm wears thin.