doggy bag

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a small bag provided on request by a restaurant for a customer to carry home leftovers of a meal, ostensibly to feed a dog or other pet.
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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

Origin of doggy bag

An Americanism dating back to 1965–70
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does doggy bag mean?

A doggy bag is a bag or container that a diner uses to bring home the leftovers of their meal from a restaurant.

At the end of the meal, if the diner has food left over that they want to bring home, they can ask for a doggy bag. The server may then take the food from the table and package it up for the customer, or they may simply bring the customer the containers.

It is sometimes spelled doggie bag. A doggie bag can also be called a to-go bag or a take-home bag. Diners might simply ask for a bag or box or for the rest of their meal to be “wrapped up” or “boxed.” Or they might ask to have the leftovers “to-go.”

Doggie bag means something different than takeout or carry-out, which refer to food picked up from a restaurant to be eaten at home. In contrast, a doggy bag is a bag for the leftovers of the meal that was eaten at the restaurant.

Example: I ordered way too much food, so I’m going to take the rest home—can you pack it up for me in a doggy bag?

Where does doggy bag come from?

The first records of the term doggy bag come from the 1960s. The phrase was first and is primarily used in the U.S. The practice of taking home doggy bags from restaurants is sometimes traced to steakhouses (restaurants that serve steak), where customers would sometimes ask for the bones from their steak to be packaged up so they could bring them home to their dogs.

Even when a doggy bag doesn’t contain bones, the term sometimes implies or is thought to be based on the idea that the diner is going to bring the food home so their dog or pet can eat it. However, the term is very common and most people aren’t thinking of dogs when they ask for a doggy bag.

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What are some other forms related to doggy bag?

  • doggie bag (alternate spelling)

What are some synonyms for doggy bag?

  • to-go bag
  • take-home bag

What are some words that share a root or word element with doggy bag

What are some words that often get used in discussing doggy bag?

How is doggy bag used in real life?

Doggy bag is a very informal but common term. Diners often just ask for a bag or box.

Try using doggy bag!

Is doggy bag used correctly in the following sentence?

“I’m getting full so I’m going to take the rest home in a doggy bag and have it for lunch tomorrow.”

How to use doggy bag in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for doggy bag

doggy bag

a bag into which leftovers from a meal may be put and taken away, supposedly for the diner's dog
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