antedating of SWAG (UNCLASSIFIED)

Mullins, Bill AMRDEC Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL
Thu Jun 21 14:49:22 UTC 2012

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

Variant forms and retronyms:

_Management of Personnel Quarterly_ Spring 1962 v1 n3 p 11 col 2
(ABI/INFORM Reseach)
"Many opinions appear to be based upon "dead reckoning," gleaned from
long close association with subordinate white collar groups; what one
executive referred to as "scientific wild-eyed guessing." "

_Science News_ 146. 26-27 (Dec 24, 1994): 432. (not from page image;
"One researcher privately categorized some of the estimates as "SWAGs"
(strictly wild-assed guesses)."

_Inc_ 17. 13 (1995): 52. (not from page image; ProQuest)
"When they do write down numbers, the numbers are estimates--what
Harford calls WAGs, for "wild-assed guesses.""

_Production and Inventory Management Journal_ 37. 2 (Second Quarter
1996): 1. (not from page image; ProQuest)
"How cost of quality is measured ranges from crude SWAG (stupid,
without-analysis guess) to detailed record keeping of all quality costs
regardless of their size and relevance."

_American Printer_ 124. 1 (Jan 2007): 47. (not from page image;
"As long as SWAG (strategic wild-butt guess) remains the industry
standard, the debate will continue to fall on deaf ears."

_Ward's Dealer Business_ 44. 1 (Jan 2010): n/a. (not from page image;
"The "SWAG" (sophisticated wild @#@ guess) percentage understates the
projects by 20%."

> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On
Behalf Of
> Jonathan Lighter
> Sent: Thursday, June 21, 2012 8:24 AM
> Subject: antedating of SWAG
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      antedating of SWAG
> -
> Not in OED.
> I first heard this in the early '70s as the acronym of "Scientific
> Wild-Assed Guess."  Also "Stupid...."
> 1966 James H. Pickerell _Vietnam in the Mud_ (Indianapolis:
> 14: Consequently, troops in the field have started turning in what
> refer to as a SWAG count, but what their superiors still call a "body
> count." (SWAG stands for "Stupid Wild-Ass Guess.")
> Malcolm W. Browne's intro is dated "February, 1966."
> JL
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

The American Dialect Society -

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