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ditty bag

a small bag used especially by sailors to hold sewing implements, toiletries, etc.
Origin of ditty bag
1855-60; of obscure origin Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for ditty bag
Historical Examples
  • The ditty bag included needles and needfuls, love-tokens, jewels, &c.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • The salve which he produced from his ditty bag was home-made, for his mother knew all about medicinal herbs and their values.

  • But I am thankful they left me my ditty bag; and I have my knife too, you remember.

  • Each takes a new pair out of his ditty bag and strings it to the foot last of his hammock.

    The Sea Rovers Rufus Rockwell Wilson
  • He secured the drawstring of the ditty bag to the end of the fishing line and inched forward again.

    The Pirates of Shan Harold Leland Goodwin
  • I remember that they had one ditty bag between them, and they had a woman's thimble in it.

    Man Overboard! F(rancis) Marion Crawford
  • The pack should contain a ditty bag with a simple footwear repair outfit.

    Touring Afoot Claude Powell Fordyce
  • There were some tri-dimensional color slides in the ditty bag hanging by his bunk.

    Rescue Squad Thomas J. O'Hara
  • A “ditty bag” should be made of some tough strong material, such as fustian, velveteen, or canvas.

British Dictionary definitions for ditty bag

ditty bag

a sailor's cloth bag for personal belongings or tools. A box used for these purposes is termed a ditty box
Word Origin
C19: perhaps from obsolete dutty calico, from Hindi dhōtī loincloth, dhoti
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ditty bag

1850s nautical slang, perhaps from British naval phrase commodity bag.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for ditty bag

ditty bag

noun phrase

A small bag for one's personal belongings, usually exclusive of clothing

[1850s+ Nautical; origin uncertain; perhaps short for commodity, fr the earlier British naval term commodity box, which became ditty box]

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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