So I was talking a bit with a person and a joke came up about collecting treasure in the desert and how there's only sand, and so I stated "I mean, if your into collecting sand then the desert is your swamp."

If I were to say what this phrase means, then I'd define it as "a place where you belong due to its affinity to your liking and your requirements" or more specifically "a place where you would like to be because it has what you need.")

And he was so confused by this, so I looked it up and could not find anything. Is this an actual phrase people use or is there a different phrase that basically has the same meaning in a sentence but is worded differently?

That aside, any other information regarding this phrase/idiom, any tips regarding the way I wrote or anything I did wrong are much appreciated, thank you for your help.

  • Note that it's more of a metaphor than an idiom.
    – Hot Licks
    Jan 18, 2021 at 13:33
  • "if your into collecting" should be "you're". Jan 13, 2022 at 13:40
  • It sounds like a home renovation of the idiom "happy as a pig in mud."
    – DjinTonic
    Jan 13, 2022 at 14:27

1 Answer 1


The phrase comes from the Shrek movies. It refers to “the (generally unattractive but, to me, congenial) place where I live (and, being so unattractive, where others would not be expected to live).” I have put the implications in parentheses.

I know of no use of the phrase before Shrek, but it certainly fills an intellectual and linguistic niche.

  • 1
    But it's non-standard, it almost certainly hasn't been broadened in application (do you know of a few examples where the expression has been used since appearing in the film other than in talking about the film?), so it's off-topic. Aug 21, 2020 at 14:04
  • 1
    Non-standard? Perhaps so, but I have only explained its origin and meaning; I make no claim that it is standard. I claim it fills a niche. Is that not how usage develops?
    – Anton
    Aug 25, 2020 at 22:50
  • Yes, but answers on ELU should be restricted to the reasonably idiomatic. One [distinct] result in a Google search for “place is your swamp”. Off-topic. Aug 26, 2020 at 11:41
  • Swamps (forested wetlands) are beautiful. Sep 15, 2021 at 12:12
  • It's in Urban Dictionary so it must be true.
    – Stuart F
    Jan 13, 2022 at 17:40

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