If you didn't get the numbers, you didn't get paid. We had a lot of sleepless nights, a lot of sleeping in wet swags and very little tucker.
Graham Elmes, Mayor the Cook Shire (Far North Qld) and former cattleman, The Australian, June 10, 2000
I'll be right mate, I'll just sleep on me swag
Howard has promised the rich a swag of goodies
Who'll come a waltzing matilda with me?
Swag is one of those words that is quintessientially Australian and entrenched in our culture.
It essentially means a roll you can wrap your worldly posessions in. You can also sleep on it. Up until early this century swagmen, or swaggies, used to roll up their swag (or bluey, or matilda) and walk (or waltz) from place to place looking for work.
You don't see many fair dinkum swagmen these days. You do see the word used literally though, and also to roughly mean 'quite a few'. For example, a budget may deliver a swag of tax breaks.
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