Bag and Baggage, as “Get away with you, bag and baggage,”
i.e. get away, and carry with you all your belongings. The bag or
sack is the pouch in which a soldier packs his few articles when he
moves from place to place. Baggage is a contemptuous term for a woman,
either because soldiers send their wives in the baggage wagons, or from
the Italian bagascia (a harlot), French bagasse, Spanish
bagazo, Persian, baga.
Bag and baggage policy.
In 1876 Mr. Gladstone, speaking on the Eastern question, said, “Let
the Turks now carry away their abuses in the only possible manner,
namely, by carrying away themselves. ... One and all, bag and
, shall, I hope, clear out from the province they have
desolated and profaned.” This was termed by the Conservatives the bag
and baggage policy.
A bag of bones.
Very emaciated; generally “A mere bag of bones.”
A bag of game.
A large battue. From the custom of carrying game home in “bags.”
A bag of tricks
or A whole bag of tricks
. Numerous expedients. In allusion
to the fable of the Fox and the Cat
. The fox was commiserating
the cat because she had only one shift in the case of danger, while he
had a thousand tricks to evade it. Being set upon by a pack of hounds,
the fox was soon caught, while puss ran up a tree and was quite secure.
A good bag.
A large catch of game, fish, or other animals sought after by
Got the bag.
Got his dismissal. (See
The bottom of the bag.
The last expedient, having emptied every other one out of his bag.
To empty the bag.
To tell the whole matter and conceal nothing. (French, vider le
, to expose all to view.)
To let the cat out of the bag.
(To) To steal, or slip into one's bag, as a poacher or
pilferer who slyly slips into his bag what he has contrived to purloin.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894