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swang

[ swang ]
/ swæŋ /
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verb Chiefly Scot. and North England.
simple past tense of swing1.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

ABOUT THIS WORD

What else does swang mean?

Swang is a slang term for showily steering a car side to side while driving. It can also be slang for chilling out and feeling good.

Where does swang come from?

While most commonly used as a past tense for the verb swing, swang has an entire other life in the world of slang. Recorded in Black slang by the 2000s, swang is when someone drives a (usually tricked-out) car slowly and widely, as if swinging the car from one side of a lane or road to the other. The use of the past tense (or sound of certain past tense forms) is apparently modeled on other such forms in Black slang, including drank (“cough syrup drunk recreationally”) and stank (“smell of sex”).

The hit 2005 song by rapper Chamillionaire “Ridin” helped get swang onto the airwaves and into popular culture. Swang is heard in its chorus: “Tryna catch me ridin’ dirty / My music’s so loud, I’m swangin’ / They hopin’ that they gonna catch me ridin’ dirty.” The song was at the top of the charts in over five countries.

Swang was revitalized when rap duo Rae Sremmurd released their 2016 song “Swang.” They gave the meaning of swang a twist: “chilled out,” not unlike when a car is swangin’ down the road. The hook goes: “Know some young n*iggas like to swang / Big bank take a little bank / Everyday spillin’ up drank.”

How is swang used in real life?

Houston, Texas especially favors the swang, where slabs (custom cars) feature swangas (spoke rims).

Car aficionados may tag pictures of their cars with #swang or #swangin to prove that they’re driving a souped up ride.

More examples of swang:

“I’m from Houston where we swang and not swerve 🤘🏼”
—@97raxx, November 2018

“Candy paint and elbows: Swangin’ through Houston’s slab scene”
—Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN (headline), November 2016

Note

This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.

How to use swang in a sentence

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