Swaggering is an ostentatious style of walking affected by men wishing to assert their dominance. It is a form of machismo or sexual display which takes up more space than needed for simple motion. The exact gait will vary with personality and fashion but it is generally more of a loose, rolling style than a stiff strut. Studies have found that people are able to determine sexual orientation from such cues and a shoulder-swagger was perceived as a heterosexual orientation.
Among London cockneys, swaggering was stylised as the coster walk which became the dance craze of the Lambeth walk. Among African-Americans, it is known as a jive-ass walk or pimp walk. The actor John Wayne was known for his swaggering walk which became a distinctive element of his screen image.
A cane may be used as a walking stick as part of the performance. In the military, this became stylised as the swagger stick — useless as a support and just used for gesturing and prodding.
Portraits which are ostentatiously posed in the grand manner are known as swagger portraits. The Tate Gallery held an exhibition of these in 1992, featuring the work of William Dobson, Anthony van Dyck and Peter Lely.
The term "swag" has become a popular term in the 21st century.