- a person's avocation, hobby, major interest, or obsession: Jazz isn't my bag.
- a person's mood or frame of mind: The boss is in a mean bag today.
- an environment, condition, or situation.
- Informal. plenty; much; many (usually followed by of): bags of time; bags of money.
- Slang. trousers.
verb (used without object), bagged, bag·ging.
verb (used with object), bagged, bag·ging.
- bag and baggage,
- bag it,
- bag job,
- bag lady,
- bag moth
- with all one's personal property: When they went to collect the rent, they found he had left, bag and baggage.
- completely, totally: The equipment had disappeared, bag and baggage, without even the slightest trace.
Origin of bag
Regional variation note
- with all one's belongings
verb bags, bagging or bagged
Word Origin for bag
c.1200, bagge, from Old Norse baggi or a similar Scandinavian source; not found in other Germanic languages, perhaps ultimately of Celtic origin. Disparaging slang for "woman" dates from 1924 (though various specialized senses of this are much older). Meaning "person's area of interest or expertise" is 1964, from Black English slang, from jazz sense of "category," probably via notion of putting something in a bag.
To be left holding the bag (and presumably nothing else), "cheated, swindled" is attested by 1793. Many figurative senses are from the notion of the game bag (late 15c.) into which the product of the hunt was placed; e.g. the verb meaning "to kill game" (1814) and its colloquial extension to "catch, seize, steal" (1818). To let the cat out of the bag "reveal the secret" is from 1760.
mid-15c., "to swell out like a bag;" also "to put money in a bag," from bag (n.). Earliest verbal sense was "to be pregnant" (c.1400). Of clothes, "to hang loosely," 1824. For sense "catch, seize, steal," see bag (n.). Related: Bagged; bagging.
bag and baggage
All of one's belongings, especially with reference to departing with them; completely, totally. For example, The day he quit his job, John walked out, bag and baggage. Originating in the 1400s, this phrase at first meant an army's property, and to march off bag and baggage meant that the departing army was not leaving anything behind for the enemy's use. By the late 1500s, it had been transferred to other belongings.
In addition to the idioms beginning with bag
- bag and baggage
- bag it
- bag of tricks
- brown bagger
- grab bag
- in the bag
- leave holding the bag
- let the cat out of the bag
- mixed bag