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[broun-bag] /ˈbraʊnˈbæg/
verb (used with object), brown-bagged, brown-bagging.
to bring (one's own liquor) to a restaurant or club, especially one that has no liquor license.
to bring (one's lunch) to work or elsewhere, usually in a small brown paper bag.
verb (used without object), brown-bagged, brown-bagging.
to carry one's lunch in a brown paper bag.
brought to work, usually in a small brown paper bag:
a brown-bag lunch.
brown-bag it, to bring one's lunch to work or elsewhere, especially in a brown paper bag.
Related forms
brown-bagger, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Contemporary definitions for brown bagger

pertaining to a meal, usu. Lunch, brought from home, esp. in a paper bag

Usage Note

cooking's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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Word Origin and History for brown bagger



"to bring lunch or liquor in a brown paper bag," 1970, from brown (adj.) + bag (n.). Related: Brown-bagging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for brown bagger

brown bagger


  1. A person who brown-bags (1960s+)
  2. Avery ugly person; double-bagger (1970s+)

[second sense fr the notion that such a person should wear a bag over the head to hide the face]



To take one's lunch to the office, or one's liquor to a club or restaurant, in a paper bag: for brown-bagging booze at places that allow this practice/ brown-bagging it for lunch (1960s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with brown bagger

brown bagger

A person who brings his or her own supplies, as in The architects of the new office designed a space for brown baggers to eat lunch. The term originated in the 1930s in Britain for very serious students who carried their books about with them in brown briefcases or bags. That usage crossed the Atlantic within a few decades. However, in America from the 1960s on, it has primarily been used for persons who brought their own liquor in a brown paper bag, either legitimately or surreptitiously, to a public place or restaurant not licensed to sell it, or for those who took their lunch to work.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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