The word swagger should be a familiar term to anyone who has listened to popular hip-hop songs in recent years; a recent search on Rap Genius turned up more than a thousand songs that used the word in the lyrics.
Given those stats, you’d be forgiven for thinking “swagger” is a relatively new concept, but it can be traced all the way back to Elizabethan England. As with so many other famous words and phrases, the first writer to use it was William Shakespeare. The playwright first had the “shrewd and knavish sprite” Puck use it in this monologue in A Midsummer Night’s Dream:
What hempen home-spuns have we swaggering here,
So near the cradle of the fairy queen?
Read more about the history of “swagger” on NPR’s Code Switch.