This is from a native Australian English speaker Australian accent (see: 3:46-3:55)

Free me swag out, camped under the stars, and I was healed up.

I couldn't understand "free me swag out.".

I looked up "swag" meaning stolen goods which makes no sense here.

Then I looked up "free out" thinking that maybe "out" belongs to the word "free", but again no such thing.

Then I looked up the whole phrase "free me swag out", and no such phrase.

So, it does not seem to make any sense for us non-natives.

Really, what does it mean?

  • 2
    The mixed tenses (Present free, Past camped, was healed up) are just because it's a "syntactically sloppy" conversational context. Same applies to the (widespread, but "ungrammatical") use of non-possessive me rather than my. Be careful about copying the vocabulary or the syntax of this speaker, though. He sounds completely natural, but you copying it as a non-native speaker might not. Apr 24, 2023 at 10:34
  • Swag means tent. It's that simple.
    – Fattie
    Apr 24, 2023 at 11:06
  • 5
    Yunus, there's a famous Aussie song "Up jumped the swag-man ..." (google). A swagman being (basically) a camper or hiker .. a vagabond outdoorsman.
    – Fattie
    Apr 24, 2023 at 11:08
  • 2
    @Fattie The song is Waltzing Matilda. The one song every non-Australian should know., :)
    – Lambie
    Apr 24, 2023 at 14:56
  • 2
    @FumbleFingers: After listening a few times I think it's actually "threw my swag out", but the subtitling has got confused by the accent - which makes more sense to me and, as you point out, otherwise the tenses don't align.
    – psmears
    Apr 25, 2023 at 10:52

1 Answer 1


'Free me swag out' = 'unpack my canvas bed roll with a mattress inside'

A 'swag' (countable noun) is a traditional Australian canvas bed roll with a mattress inside, carried rolled up by hikers or people who wish to 'sleep under the stars' in the Australian outback. It is carried rolled-up e.g. in a backpack or motor vehicle, and unrolled at a sleeping location.

Swag (as a non-countable noun) is a term used for stolen goods being carried away from where their owner had placed them (often in a bag or sack). By the 1830s it had come, in Australia, to also mean the possessions carried by a person travelling in the outback.

Swag (bedroll) - Wikipedia

What is a swag?

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  • 5
    No wonder I, as an American, thought this was utter gibberish Apr 24, 2023 at 21:19
  • 2
    Having listened a few times I think it may actually be "threw my swag out" (with the subtitles getting confused by the accent).
    – psmears
    Apr 25, 2023 at 10:53
  • 1
    @yunus - it isn't clear, but I think it is 'threw me swag out'. Apr 25, 2023 at 14:32
  • 3
    @JimmyJames "could be a backronym" is a very generous way of looking at it. That's one of the most blatantly preposterous claims I've ever heard.
    – phoog
    Apr 26, 2023 at 7:43
  • 1
    Where I worked, we usually called the stuff we got at conferences 'freebies'. Mostly rubbish, like branded cheap pens, pads of sticky notes, lanyards for our passes, etc. My boss got a 'stress toy' which was a little black-and-white dog made of slightly spongy rubber. The idea was that you could get stress relief by scrunching him up in your hand. I was intrigued to see how often, and how severely, 'Spotty' got mangled up. Eventually his head came off. One sarcastic person suggested giving him a funeral. Apr 26, 2023 at 8:00

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