I need a single word which is essentially an item/component which can be distributed to people. I would have termed them as distributables (something that is distributable - a distributable), but I don't see the word ever being used as a noun.

For instance: Things like bookmarks and pamphlets are sometimes 'freebie-handouts' in a library. They are _____ (distributables?)

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    What's wrong with what you already have? Something that's handed out is a "handout": "printed information provided free of charge, especially to accompany a lecture or advertise something" (from ODO) Sep 13, 2017 at 3:53
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    Do you specifically mean marketing-type items like your library examples, or are you thinking more broadly of anything that might be distributed, like snacks that get handed out at children's events and leaflets and "free hugs" from that one guy and so on?
    – 1006a
    Sep 13, 2017 at 4:00
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    I've heard these giveaways called swag, but I don't see regular dictionaries defining swag thusly.
    – Davo
    Sep 13, 2017 at 11:47
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    @Davo Yes, swag! I've heard it. And OED has it - en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/swag (2/2.1). Urban Dictionary has it, too - urbandictionary.com/…
    – wordsalad
    Sep 14, 2017 at 2:28
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    I think it's rather depressing whenever I hear people insisting they need - or even want - a single word for something that's been getting along quite happily for a lot more than 100 years. All that time, everyone else has been using handouts or freebies or giveaways or goodie b… oops! There was some fool about to use two words were one was demanded. Well, hush my mouth! Sep 15, 2017 at 0:32

2 Answers 2


In UK we often call a small paper bit of marketing material a "flyer", in US too?

  • Yes, in the US we would also call paper-based marketing materials flyers, but I believe the question has a rather broader idea for what is being handed out (it refers to "items", not just "paper").
    – Hellion
    Oct 13, 2017 at 17:49

Consider the word favors. From Google:

a small gift or souvenir (favor or favour, plural favors or favours)

"good party favors include stickers, hair barrettes, or crayons"

In the United States favors are small remembrances of an event, often with the sponsor's name, such as a key chain, coffee mug, USB stick (as you mentioned), a pen, and so forth. The term is also used for social events (weddings or dinners)--an item a person can take home and perhaps give to the kids.

  • This is used in the same sense in UK, too (but spelled 'favours'). Gifts/souvenirs handed out at a conference would would more usually just be called 'freebies' here though - most likely as an adjective: 'freebie memory sticks' Sep 13, 2017 at 9:57

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