So what the heck is a bohemian? Wikipedia aptly defines “bohemian” as a word of French origin, “first used in the English language in the nineteenth century to describe the untraditional lifestyles of marginalized and impoverished artists, writers, musicians, and actors in major European cities. Bohemians were associated with unorthodox or antiestablishment political or social viewpoints, which were often expressed through free love, frugality, and/or voluntary poverty.”
But modern bohemians aren’t necessarily impoverished. In fact, being college educated, they are usually wealthier than regular middle class white people, and many SWPLs are downright rich. BIGLAW is full of SWPLs such as Heather Eisenlord. Consequently, there is a great deal of overlap between SWPL values and upper middle class values.
SWPL is actually an acronym for “stuff white people like” which was coined by Christian Lander who founded the blog of the same name, Stuff White People Like. In his blog, Christian wrote post about stuff that “white people” like, which includes things such as farmers' markets, sushi, knowing what’s best for poor people, and the Ivy League. The blog was so well done that people initially thought that the author was Asian, but it turned out that the author was a member of the very class he was mocking.
Reading through the posts, it becomes clear that the blog describes not all white people, but a subset of white people best defined as educated liberal bohemians. And as I wrote above, there is a lot of overlap with regular upper middle class whites. Most upper middle class white Republicans, for example, like to eat sushi and either attended an Ivy League school or wish they did.
I use the acronym SWPL interchangeably as a noun or an adjective. So I may write that SWPLs voted for Obama, or that SWPL food such as free range pork is unhealthy.
SWPL should be pronounced “swipple” but never written that way.