Green’s Dictionary of Slang

bag n.1

1. as a container or receptacle.

(a) the scrotum [note double entendre in D’Urfey, Pills to Purge Melancholy (1719): ‘But what is this that hangs under his Chin, / [...] / ’Tis the Bag he puts his Provender in’].

[UK]J. Heywood Proverbs II Ch. x: He brought the bottom of the bag cleane out. / His gadyng thus agayne made hir ill content, / But she not so muche as dreamd that all was spent.
[UK]T. Carew A Rapture (1927) 7: I will rifle all the sweets, that dwell / In my delicious Paradise, and swell / My bagge with honey, drawne forth by the power / Of fervant kisses.
[UK] ‘The Tinker’ in Farmer Merry Songs and Ballads (1897) I 143: For I have brass within my bag, / And target in my Apron.
[UK] ‘Jenny’s Answer to Sawney’ in Ebsworth Roxburghe Ballads (1893) VII:1 16: He told me that she was muckle Fag, for when he had emptied his bag, / She sent him home with a running nagg.
Dryden Lucretius 415: Man dissolves in that excess of joy [...] when the gather’d bag has burst its way.
[UK]N. Ward ‘Reflections on a Country Corporation’ in Writings (1704) 20: Cuckolds and Misers here are Plenty, / Many Mechanicks and Few Gentry, / Whose Bags are full, and Sculls are empty.
[UK] ‘The Trooper Watering his Nagg’ in Farmer Merry Songs and Ballads (1897) I 193: But what is this hangs under his Chin [...] ’Tis the Bag he puts his Provender in.
[UK]Teague-Root Display’d [pamphlet] At the Bottom of the Root issue two round Globes, that are pendulous in a Bag.
[Ire] ‘The Wee Wee Bag of Potatoes’ Chap Book Songs 5: Oh how he batter’d her [...] how he twangled her, with his Wee Wee Bag of Potatoes.
[UK]Harris’s List of Covent-Garden Ladies 30: Her wanton lecherous hand, with eager but gentle compressure sqeezes the circular balls, in nature’s treasure bag.
[UK]‘Zodiac’ in Hilaria 115: Sign Aries, then maids, is your ram or lew’d tup / A rich pond’rous bag ’twixt his legs.
[UK] ‘Cupid’s Battering Ram’ in Rambler’s Flash Songster 22: When the bag which hangs under the battery ram Rub a dub. / Is injured, the engine is not worth a damn.
[UK]‘The Female Gamester’ in Facetious Songster in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) III 272: When with the box she at me knoc[k]s / My spirit sometimes flags, / For, by the gods, she wins the odds, / And empties all my bags.
[UK]C. Deveureux Venus in India II 300: My balls were loose in an elongated and relaxed bag.
[US]‘Bob Sterling’ Town-Bull 17: A good rousing probe that [...] made her scream with delight, when gorged with a bag full of cream.
[UK]Forbidden Fruit n.p.: Our mingled fluids spurted all over my bag of balls and flooded our thighs.
[US]D. St John Memoirs of Madge Buford 15: A great bag, as large as my fist and rosy red [...] ‘Strip, you minx,’ he said, ‘I’ve got a whole bag full of sperm for you’ .
[UK]Lustful Memoirs of a Young and Passionated Girl 25: She began to handle it [i.e. the penis] and the bag beneath it and asking questions about them.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 704: Compared with what a man looks like with his two bags full and his other thing hanging down out of him or sticking up at you like a hatrack.
[US] in G. Legman Limerick (1953) 247: Her uncle—the wag— / Cut off Peter’s bag.
[US] in E. Cray Erotic Muse (1992) 356: You can see the bloody snag where she hit me on the bag.
[UK]Auden ‘The Platonic Blow’ in Mills (1983) 325: I admired the texture, the delicate wrinkles and the neat / Sutures of the capacious bag.
[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular.
[US]Maledicta IV:2 (Winter) 196: The scrotum that contains the nuts is rarely mentioned. Ball bag and bag are uncommon terms in themselves, though the last survives in the phrase last shake of the bag, meaning ‘one’s youngest child’.
[US]R.O. Scott Gay Sl. Dict. [Internet] bag: 2. the scrotum and testicles.
[UK]I. Welsh ‘A Smart Cunt’ in Acid House 247: There are times, sure, when the bag just needs to be emptied.
[UK]I. Welsh Filth 159: As I empty the bag, she does a fantastic stage groan.

(b) the vagina; one of many terms that refer to the vagina as a receptacle, usu. for sperm or the penis.

[UK]J. Harington Epigrams III No. 39: Tell me whether is best? To haue his paiment all together: / Or take it by a shilling, and a shilling, / Whereby the bagge should be the longer filling?
[UK]Crim.-Con. Gaz. 22 Sept. 35/3: ‘I’m sure I carried nothing out with me but my Work-bag.’ ‘It was your Work-bag we toasted,’ said the Colonel [...] ‘as it is so fancifully embroidered’.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).

(c) the womb.

[UK] ‘The Brewer’ in Playford Pills to Purge Melancholy I 34: But now he is hurried away with a hag, / He brews in a bottle and bakes in a bag.
[Ire]C. Brown Down All the Days 49: Let them all see how you saddled me with your litter of bastards! There’s probably another one in the bag as it is!

(d) (UK Und.) a purse.

[UK]H. Lemoine ‘Education’ in Attic Misc. 116: And while he shin’d, his Nelly sack’d the bag.
[UK]‘Dick Hellfinch’ in Rummy Cove’s Delight in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) III 105: And while he shin’d, she sack’d the bag.
[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 31/2: I have seen heavier ‘bags’ gotten from the poor ‘molls’ in the orange market in Duke’s place.
[UK]‘Doss Chiderdoss’ ‘Unciariasis’ Sporting Times 4 July 1/4: On race days big he, with ‘brain fag,’ / Knocked off, the office scorning; / Returning with empty ‘bag,’ / To cop the ‘sack’ next morning.

(e) (US prison) a straitjacket, used for punishment.

[US]J. Black You Can’t Win (2000) 282: The jacket is no longer in use and no purpose would be served by living over those three days in the ‘bag’.

(f) (US) a contraceptive sheath.

[[UK]Lustful Memoirs of a Young and Passionated Girl 26: He then explained that some men drew out their rod just before spending, others used a syringe, others a rubber bag over their long tom, etc].
[US]Baker et al. CUSS 75: Bag [...] 7. Prophylactic.
[US]R. Price Ladies’ Man (1985) 219: You don’t ever have to use a bag in this place if you don’t want.
[US]R.O. Scott Gay Sl. Dict. [Internet] bag: 3. A condom.
[UK]I. Welsh Filth 149: I pull off the bag and throw it out the window.

(g) the stomach.

[Ire] in ‘Myles na gCopaleen’ Best of Myles (1968) 68: There is nothing so bad as a bad bag.

(h) (US campus) the buttocks.

[US]Eble Campus Sl. Apr. 1: bag – the buttocks. In those pants, that baseball player has a great bag.

2. as a lit. or fig. bag of money.

(a) (UK Und.) the act and proceeds of pickpocketing.

[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 107/2: As with others of a lower distinction in ‘fakeology,’ if the ‘bag’ was ‘not thar’ neither was the wine.

(b) (Aus.) any form of gain, lit. or fig.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 5 July 28/2: Then, when the company were comfortably drunk, the genial entertainer would start in and generally succeeded in making a good ‘bag.’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 26 Apr. 45: I’ve even seen him up-end a jack so we could get out with a bag.

(c) (US Und.) the proceeds of any illegal activity, e.g. unauthorized bookmaking.

[US]A.J. Barr Let Tomorrow Come 155: You’re a tinhorn and ain’t got a bag to bet. How many stamps was it you stole, a dollar’s worth or a dime’s worth? Sure you won’t bet a bag.
[US]M. Puzo Godfather 139: He would never make trouble to get an extra payoff for himself [...] he was content for his share of the station house bag.
[US]G. Pelecanos Shame the Devil 132: May’s was the last stop on a weekly bag run, and apparently the shooters knew it.

(d) (UK black) £1000.

[UK]Wiley ‘From the Outside’ [lyrics] I used to pay £5 a week to get heard / Now I get five bags for spoken word.

3. as an unattractive and/or promiscuous person, usu. a woman.

(a) (US) a promiscuous woman, a prostitute.

[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 28 Sept. n.p.: She used to be an inmate of a fashionable house of ill fame [...] Now she lived in ‘Shinbone’ alley [...] The old bag was sent to the Bridewell.
(con. 1893) in Indep. (N.Y.) LIII 3012/1: I have seen several women on the tramp, but generally very low down creatures. The boys call them Bags, old Bags.
[UK]P. Marks Plastic Age 177: They’re Bessie Haines and Emma Gleeson; at least, that’s what they call themselves, and they’re rotten bags.
[US]D. Clemmer Prison Community (1940) 330/1: bag, n. 1. A down and out prostitute working in streets and alleys.
[UK]J. Curtis Gilt Kid 33: He’d get cased up with some old bag and she’d take him for his lot.
[US]Heggen & Logan Mister Roberts I i: Hey, she’s got the same color bathrobe as that stupid bag taking the shampoo!
[UK]W. Sansom ‘Impatience’ in Lehmann Penguin New Writing No. 40 45: ‘It’s just like you, you dreary old bag,’ he would say to a blowsy old pro.
[US]Lait & Mortimer USA Confidential 142: They won’t ask questions if you check into one of the following hostelries with a female bag your only baggage.
[UK]A. Burgess Doctor Is Sick (1972) 53: Senora, ’e say. Bloody ole bag an fackin’ ’oor, you say.
[UK]C. Rohan Delinquents 35: She’s only a bag when all is said and done.
[UK](con. 1950s) Nicholson & Smith Spend, Spend, Spend (1978) 45: Tha’s nothing but a whore, a bag, a prostitute.
[US]H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 31: bag. A woman, usually an ugly one or a prostitute.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Boys from Binjiwunyawunya 205: Bored looking bags in bikinis wearing big sunglasses.
[UK]B. Hare Urban Grimshaw 3: There’s an ugly fucking buah, called Trudi, the slag, / and we all hate her because she’s a bag.

(b) (orig. US, also old sack) an unattractive woman, esp. as old bag; occas. as adj.

[UK] J. Conway in Variety 27 Jan. 11: He picks out a bag with a lame brain [HDAS].
Bee (Danville, VA) 18 June 6/5: Lines of worry fretted her forehead [...] ‘I’ll lok like an old bag soon if I don’t stop worrying’.
[US]Randolph & Pingry ‘Kansas University Sl.’ in AS III:3 218: Say, Cress, who was that bag I saw you with yesterday?
[UK]K. Mackenzie Living Rough 164: ‘Go’n, ye dirty auld bag,’ they jeered at her.
[US]D. Runyon ‘Baseball Hattie’ in Runyon on Broadway (1954) 643: She is getting to be nothing but an old bag.
[UK]J. Cary Horse’s Mouth (1948) 321: Why, you damned old bag, you’ll be so fond of this kid, you’ll thank God for it.
[US]D. Runyon Runyon à la Carte 22: I occasionally notice an old sack in the background who may be Marie’s mamma or her aunt.
[US]J.D. Salinger Catcher in the Rye (1958) 96: ‘Hey, is she good-looking?’ I asked him. ‘I don’t want any old bag.’ ‘No old bag.’.
[US]R. Prather Always Leave ’Em Dying 14: I got the impression that this flabby bag had expected to hire me for a nickel a day.
[UK]N. Dunn Up the Junction 16: You’re only young once – you can spend all yer time at evenin’ classes when yer an old bag.
[Aus]D. Ireland Glass Canoe (1982) 40: This woman wasn’t a drunkard or a fighter or even an old bag.
[Aus]D. Maitland Breaking Out 132: Jesus, that old bag came on like a bloody steam train.
[US]L. Heinemann Paco’s Story (1987) 36: That loony old bag from Watseka, mumbling her mouth at him.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett White Shoes 34: Tell it to that curry-eating bag back in Sydney.
[US]Hollywood Reporter 1–7 June 11: I started off as a babe, became a bitch and now I’m playing an old bag!
[UK]N. Griffiths Grits 242: They wair right in the agency; this one is a fussy old bag.
[US]S.M. Jones August Snow [ebook] ‘She was a mean-spirited, selfish old bag who blustered and railed against the prevailing winds of change’.

(c) attrib. use of sense 3b.

[US]‘Ed Lacy’ Men from the Boys (1967) 36: I told the old-bag waitress to give me a double hunk.

(d) a homosexual man, esp. an unattractive and/or passive one.

[US]J.T. Farrell Gas-House McGinty 204: Gwan, you baguh ... snarled Billy.
[US]Maledicta VI:1+2 (Summer/Winter) 126: So here, in the spirit of sober and scholarly inquiry, we are going to examine the language of dykes, hustlers, hookers, chicken queens, the fags, drags, bags, hags, et al.
[SA]K. Cage Gayle 55/2: bag n. 1. A butch man (Oh, she’s such a bag!) 2. one’s lover (Got to get home to my bag).

4. in the context of consumption [a fig. ‘bag’ of food or drink etc].

(a) a measure, e.g. a tankard or glassful, of alcohol .

[UK]Swell’s Night Guide 68: I’ve got tin for a bag of malt and a draw. [Ibid.] 71: They took their tightener, – viz., a bag of brown lap [...] a nob o’pannum, a wedge of beeswax.

(b) (Aus.) a meal, a ‘feed’, or a drinking session .

[Aus]E. Dyson Spats’ Fact’ry (1922) 66: I’m holdin’ meself in for a big bag et the Occidental this evenin’ — seven courses ’n’ a pink silk serviette.
[UK]N&Q 12 Ser. IX 345: Bag. Sufficiency. ‘A bag of beer’.

(c) a state of drunkenness or intoxication.

[US]Cressey & Ward Delinquency, Crime, and Social Process 810: He’s lame ... he’s a chump to get off in that bag [...] if he keeps fucking around with it, he’s gonna get on it, gonna get hooked.
[US]D. Ponicsan Last Detail 82: I was in a drug bag.
[US]B. Davidson Collura (1978) 81: Two of them [...] did a lot of huddling together and were on a ‘goofin bag’, giggling and fooling around in the typical behaviour of the marijuana smoker.

(d) (US black) a bottle of beer.

[US]L. Stavsky et al. A2Z.

5. (US campus) a despised person, an outsider; one who ‘brings their lunch in a bag’.

[US]Life 15 May 65: They now understand that a drip is a ‘bag’ [HDAS].

6. (orig. US drugs) as a measurement or container of drugs.

(a) a measure of narcotics, typically sold as a nickel bag, $5 worth or a dime bag, $10 worth.

[US]‘Hal Ellson’ Golden Spike 43: Suppose I give you a bag?
[US]W. Brown Monkey On My Back (1954) 226: Sometimes, too, he would manage to buy a couple of ‘bags’ on his own, which he would then make into capsules and sell to contacts.
[US]N. Heard Howard Street 95: With slightly trembling hands he cooked it, and shot half the bag.
[US]D. Goines Street Players 11: It ain’t nothing but a fifty-dollar bag.
[US](con. 1950s) Courtwright & Des Jarlais Addicts Who Survived 163: My habit wasn’t bad when we first started out. But it wasn’t very long before I was up to four or five bags a day.
[Ire]P. Howard The Joy (2015) [ebook] Soon I was shooting up any time I had the money for a ten-pound bag.
[US]L. Pettiway Workin’ It 73: The first time I did heroin I did two bags.
[UK]J.J. Connolly Layer Cake 163: ‘Kinky didn’t go over,’ shouts the kid [...] on his way to an important appointment with a ten-pound bag. ‘Someone did him in.’.
[US]Codella and Bennett Alphaville (2011) 142: If I could [...] sneak up on a junkie shooting or snorting a bag I snatched him up.
email to davidsimon.com 9 May [Internet] The only time I actually got caught with dope on me it was by a black officer who took the bags and my works.
Section Boyz ‘Trapping Ain’t Dead’ [lyrics] Quick, phoned up bro and he gave me a brick / [...] / Box full of bags, not trainers and kicks / On a trap round.

(b) a store of drugs, as carried by a dealer.

[US]‘William Lee’ Junkie (1966) 35: Oh, I guess the guy’s burned. Somebody made him for his bag a few days ago.
[US]C. Cooper Jr Scene (1996) 42: He vowed to get himself a bag.
[US]D. Goines Dopefiend (1991) 204: I just wanted you to know I got the bag now.
[US]V.E. Smith Jones Men 8: Tomorrow they’d compete for his dope bag.
[US]E. Bunker Little Boy Blue (1995) 277: They really kiss your ass if you’ve got the dope bag.
[UK]K. Sampson Outlaws (ms.) 49: I can think of four guys who’ll be only too happy to take a bag like that.

(c) a balloon containg heroin, thus through metonymy, the heroin itself.

[US] ‘Sl. of Watts’ in Current Sl. III:2 9: Bag, n. A balloon containing heroin.
[UK]K. Sampson Outlaws (ms.) 42: They’re not just smackheads nowadays by the way, neither. They like the brown and the white [...] Bit of crack to make them high, bit of bag to lull the comedown.

(d) a quarter-ounce (7g) measure of a drug, usu. marijuana.

[US]R.R. Lingeman Drugs from A to Z (1970) 36: bag [...] (2) a measure of marijuana, usually called a nickel ($5) bag, containing 1/7 to 1/5 ounce of marijuana.
[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 163: I asked him for a cigarette and he brought me a $25 bag [of marijuana].
[US]W. Shaw Westsiders 75: Babyboy has a verse [...] about dealing bags of grass to party-goers.
[UK]Amy Winehouse ‘Addicted’ [lyrics] So bring me a bag and your man can come back, I’ll check him at the door, make sure he got green.

7. a form of bludgeon made from several socks inside each other, filled with sand packed round a solid, ball-shaped object [abbr. SE sandbag].

[US]N. Heard Howard Street 69: The familiar thud of the bag reached its target.

8. (US) a bed, orig. a bag of straw or feathers; esp. in phr. bag it, hit the bag, go to bed, go to sleep.

[US]Dundes & Schonhorn ‘Kansas University Sl.: A New Generation’ in AS XXXVIII:3 174: Also noted once were: conk out, flake it, jump in the bag, point toe to heaven, and saw wood.
[US]Baker et al. CUSS 75: Bag [...] 9. Bed. [Ibid.] Bag it Go to bed (not sexual).
[US]Current Sl. III–IV (Cumulation Issue) 6: Bag it, v. To sleep.

9. see sack n. (2a)

In derivatives

In compounds

bag bride (n.) [ironic use of SE bride]

(drugs) a prostitute who is addicted to crack cocaine.

R.B. Flowers Drugs, Alcohol & Criminality 64: Additional street terms worth noting as part of today's drug subculture are • Bag bride — prostitute crack addict.
[US]ONDCP Street Terms 2: Bag bride — Crack-smoking prostitute.
bag-chasing (adj.)

obsessed by obtaining narcotic drugs.

[US]D. Goines Dopefiend (1991) 176: I know that you’re a bag-chasing bitch.
J. Goldberg Raised by Wolves 129: She's a bag-chasing whore who doesn't fuck.
baghead (n.) (also bag-rat) [-head sfx (4)]

(drugs) a heroin addict.

[UK]K. Sampson Outlaws (ms.) 30: I hate smack. I fucking hate fucking bagheads even worse.
B. Crewe Prisoner Society 254: Terms such as ‘bag-rat’, ‘bag-head’, and ‘smack-rat’ denoted men whose behaviours and identities were dominated by the search for their next fix: There is a difference between a heroin user and a baghead [who is] the kind of bloke who would rob his mum and all that shit.
[UK]K. Sampson Killing Pool 32: Were my teeth not brown enough for a baghead?
bag ho (n.) [ho n.1 (2)]

1. (US black) an extremely unattractive woman.

[US]Ebonics Primer at www.dolemite.com [Internet] bag-ho Definition: a ho so ugly you need a bag to cover her ass up when you fuck. Example: Man the other night this girls stepped up, I swear to god she was a bag-ho.

2. a girl or woman who trades sex for drugs.

S. McCovey Smokehouse Boys 26: But that was before the parties all night, the sleeping around, the addiction. Before the evolution of a bag ho.
M. Linquist King of Methlehem : Brandy stares, her eyes jerking back and forth as she watches. ‘Would you fucking hurry up?’ [...] ‘Don’t act like a bag ’ho’. Delaying consciously now, he chops the powder up.
[US]J. Stahl Bad Sex on Speed 66: There were lower rungs on the meth food chain — it’s not like I was a bag ho.
bagman (n.)

see separate entry.

bag woman (n.) [the female version of bagman n. (7)]

(US) a female go-between, taking money (usu. bribes or other illicit pay-offs) between two parties.

[US] in H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 31: A bag is not necessarily a [...] bag woman in the sense used by Representative Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. (Democrat, New York) on March 6, 1960, when he brought a million-dollar libel suit upon himself by identifying Esther James as a bag woman for the police, meaning she collected bribes for them from gamblers.

In phrases

bagged up (adj.)

wearing a contraceptive.

J. Frazier Close My Eyes 39: I hate the condoms, hate to have my shit bagged up.
big bag (n.) [SE big, important] (drugs)

1. heroin.

[US]R.R. Lingeman Drugs from A to Z (1970) 45: big bags Five- to ten-dollar bags of heroin.

2. a large wholesale quantity of narcotics.

[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Airtight Willie and Me 62: He peddled low grade eights and sixteenths of smack and cocaine [...] Then he copped the big bag.
blow out one’s bag (v.)

to get drunk.

[UK]Sam Sly 2 June 4/3: Daniel and Ub, those sons of sin, / Each night blew out their bags with gin.
bring a bag off (v.)

(UK Und.) to pick pockets (successfully).

[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 84/1: Owing to Squib’s sickness, ‘sugar’ was beginning to run shot at home; so Mag thought she would take a run out and try to bring a ‘bag off’.
chase the bag (v.)

(US drugs) to seek out supplies and/or to be addicted to heroin.

[US]R.R. Lingeman Drugs from A to Z (1970) 60: chasing the bag (1) hustling for heroin. (2) addicted.
W.C. Westman Drug Epidemic 8: He feels inadequate to any task except continuing to ‘chase the bag’ of heroin in the streets.
[US] in Smith & Gay Heroin in Perspective.
have a bag on (v.)

1. to have a hangover.

[US](con. 1944) N. Mailer Naked and Dead 559: Oh, what a bag I got on.

2. to be drunk or intoxicated with a drug.

[US](con. 1944) N. Mailer Naked and Dead 267: Watch out for your old man when he’s got a bag on.
[US]M. Spillane Big Kill 37: He had half a bag on and looked it [W&F].
have the bag on (v.)

to work as a bookmaker.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 30 June 24/1: The present coursing craze recalls that when old Jem Mace had the bag on – laying ’em – in Australia years ago, he went to a coursing-meeting for the first time and after looking on awhile started fielding.
hooked through the bag (adj.) [hooked adj.3 ]

(US drugs) heavily addicted to narcotics.

[US]E. Hunter ‘. . . Or Leave It Alone’ in Jungle Kids (1967) 58: Now Annie was hooked clear through the bag and back again.
[US]‘Ed McBain Killer’s Wedge 31: His only son was a tried-and-true drug addict, hooked through the bag and back again.
[US]H. Ellison ‘At the Mountains of Blindness’ in Gentleman Junkie (1961) 65: He was a thin-lipped pianist, hooked through the bag and out the other end with a need and a monkey so big it played King Kong to an SRO audience.
[US]S. King Firestarter [ebook] It would be quite another thing to fool the girl's father with the same fairy story, even though he was hooked through the bag and back.
‘Ed McBain’ Lady, Lady, I Did It’ 187: ‘How bad was Tony hooked?’ ‘Through the bag and back again’.
S. King Drawing of Three 53: There was deep steel in Eddie Dean, junkie or no junkie [...] That was why he had been sent. Most of them thought he had gone because he was hooked through the bag and back again.
P. Wilhelm Healing Process 152: This asshole is on something. Hooked through the bag and back. And certainly there was a rigid convulsiveness in Jansen’s movements and the pupils of his eyes were markedly dilated.
‘Ed McBain’ Money, Money, Money 89: He had tried psychiatric help, had tried rehabilitation, had tried every damn thing [...] but he was hooked through the bag and back again, and nothing had worked.
put the bag on (v.)

1. (Ulster) to start out as a beggar [a beggar’s bag].

[Ire]Share Slanguage.

2. (Aus./N.Z.) to breathalyse [the polythene bag that is part of the breathalysing kit].

[Aus]D. Ireland Glass Canoe (1982) 5: Not that the boys in blue were waiting outside the pub to put the bag on departing drinkers.
[NZ] McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl.
run bag (v.)

to work as a go-between, esp. to collect or administer money obtained by various criminal activities.

[US](con. early 1950s) J. Ellroy L.A. Confidential 286: I’m dying to run bag for you. Who do I shake down first?
sack the bag (v.)

(UK Und.) to pick a pocket.

[UK]‘Dick Hellfinch’ in Rummy Cove’s Delight in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) III 105: And while he shin’d, she sack’d the bag.
wear the bag (v.)

(US police) to wear the regulation uniform.

[US]D. Winslow The Force [ebook] Malone was still wearing the bag, riding a sector car, when a mook raped a little Haitian girl.

In exclamations

the bag is off!

(UK Und.) the purse, wallet etc has been removed from the victim; as excl., a statement denoting the successful conclusion of a crime: ‘we’ve done it!’.

[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 22/1: ‘Hurrah! the “Bag is off” at last,’ cries Jack, as he saw the ‘quids’ and paper thrown out on the table.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

bag and bottle (n.)

food and drink.

[UK]J. Eachard Observations n.p.: An ill-contriving rascal that in his younger years should choose to lug the bag and the bottle a mile or two to school; and to bring home only a small bit of Greek or Latin most magisterially construed [F&H].
[UK]‘Robin Hood and Shepherd’ in Nares Gloss. 46: Arise, arise, said jolly Robin, And now come let me see What’s in thy bag and bottle, I say?
[US]A.J. Pollock Und. Speaks 4/1: Bag and bottle, food and drink.
bag-boy (n.)

(Aus.) a bookmaker.

[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 2 Feb. 2/1: [The] gelding has been threatening to win a race, but at his three most recent efforts the expected slaying of the bag boys did not materialise.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 18 May 6: Jack’s A Bold Bag Boy Again. They talk about ‘come-backs.’ What about Sydney bookmaker, Jack Shaw?
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 5 Jan. 2/2: George Tancred was one of several big punters who slapped a ‘Full Nelson’ on the bag-boys. One of his Wellington wagers was £2500 to £1000 and he was so busy nodding his nut that it’s a wonder his hat didn’t fall off.
bag-carrier (n.) [the bag in which he keeps his cash]

(Aus.) a bookmaker.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 8 Sept. 26/1: S.A. law made an exhibition of itself over its latest attempt to put down the illegal bookmaker. The police employed agents, who went round and made bets with the unlawful bag-carriers, and then they prosecuted the long-nosed brigade wholesale.
bag job (n.) [ job n.2 (2)]

1. (US campus) an unpleasant person [i.e. one who deserves a bag over their head].

[US]Baker et al. CUSS.

2. (US) ‘an illegal search of a suspect’s property by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, esp. for the purpose of copying or stealing incriminating documents etc’ (OED).

[US]Time 25 Oct. 31: The ‘bag job,’ in which agents enter a home or office and examine or copy documents, personal papers or notebooks.
D. Winslow Border [ebook] The guy did fine in the bag job back in New York, but undercover is a different gig.
bag lady (n.)

see separate entry.

bagpipe(s)/piping

see separate entries.

bag-slinger (n.) [the trad. street prostitute carried a large bag]

(US) a street-walker.

[US]Esquire 2 49: Sally was going to play the bag-slinger in ‘Rain’ and it wouldn’t have hurt to let the public know she had plenty of what it takes .
bag-swinger (n.) [their essential equipment] (Aus.)

1. a bookmaker; thus bag-swinging, working as a bookmaker.

[Aus]Dly Mail (Brisbane) 7 Nov. 14/9: Bookmaker George Turton is an astute member of the bag-swinging fraternity.
[Aus]Sport (Adelaide) 14 May 2/2: The only turn-up for the bag-swingers was Honeysuckle in the Purse at 12/1.
[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 4 Aug. 1: [headline] Bag-Swinger Who Did £40 ‘Cold’ [...] ‘Love Thy Neighbor’ Is Not His Favorite Song.
[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 23 Sept. 24/2: [The] win of Tidal Wave inflicted severe financial wounds among the ranks of the bag-swinging brigade.
[Aus]Truth (Brisbane) 16 Dec. 5/2: Bookmakers sported great smiles after the running of [...] the Albion Park Fifth Division yesterday. Final Edition had bobbed up at 14 to 1 and if any bag-swinger didn't curl his mo after the event it was becos his mitts were other wise engaged.
[Aus]Truth (Brisbane) 25 May 12/1: Last Race Bad Blow to ‘Books’. Punters finished up the day at Bundamba' in a lethal manner so far as the bag swingers were concerned.

2. a street-walker, a prostitute.

[Aus]Baker Aus. Speaks.
[Aus]S. Gore Holy Smoke 79: ‘Actually she’s a half-squarie—’ ‘What they call a bag-swinger, down in the city?’ ‘Ribuck, mate!’.

In phrases

bag it (v.) [Yorkshire dial. bag out, for a farm-worker to bring their packed lunch to the fields]

(US campus/teen) to bring one’s lunch in a paper bag.

[US](con. 1950s) Jacobs & Casey Grease I ii: Those slobs. You think they’d spend a dime on their lunch? They’re baggin’ it.
bag of beer (n.) (also bag o’ beer) [? joc. use of SE; note Fraser & Gibbons Soldier & Sailor Words & Phrases (1925): ‘Bag Of, A: Sufficiency, Plenty; e.g. A Bag of Beer’]

1. (Aus.) a drunk.

H. Kendall ‘Song of Ninian Melville’ in Wannan With Malice Aforethought (1978) 36: In the fly-blown village pothouse where a dribbling bag of beer / Passes for a human being.

2. a quart pot of beer, holding a mixture of porter and ale.

[UK]J. Ware Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era 15/2: Bag o’ Beer. (Lowest people’s). Bacchanalian brevity – for it means, and nothing else than a quart-half of fourpenny porter and half of fourpenny ale. This once stood ‘pot o’ four ’arf an’ ’arf’, reduced to ‘four ’arf’, and thence to ‘bag o’ beer’.
bag of bones (n.)

see separate entries.

bag of guts (n.)

(US) a fat person.

[Shakespeare Henry IV pt. 1 II:4: That trunk of humours, that bolting-hutch of beastliness, that swollen parcel of dropsies, that huge bombard of sack, that stuffed cloak-bag of guts, that roasted Manningtree ox with the pudding in his belly, that reverend vice, that grey iniquity].
[UK]Fielding Don Quixote I i: Thou art just such another squat Bag of Guts as they Dapple.
[UK]Bradford Obs. 11 May 3/1: Does any Saxon ‘bag o’ guts’ imagine that we will not have what we universally desire?
[UK]Edinburgh Eve. News 12 Apr. 4/3: He [...] publicly called one of our colleagues [...] ‘a bag of guts’.
[US]DN I 328: Bag o’ guts: a useless individual, a ‘bum [...] also implies a big man with little brains’.
[US]Sun (NY) 9 Dec. 6/4: The Jersey democrat disatisfied with his leader, a big man with little brains [...] can relieve himself by calling him a ‘bag o’ guts’.
[US]L.W. Payne Jr ‘Word-List From East Alabama’ in DN III:iv 288: bag o(f) guts, n. a useless, lazy person.
[US]H.A. White ‘A Word-List From Central New York’ in DN III:8 566: bag of guts, n. A worthless, clumsy fellow, fat and lazy.
[US]J. Wambaugh Blue Knight 273: I’m an old bag of guts.
bag of hump (n.)

a contemptible person.

[US]S. Kingsley Dead End Act I: Ah, shat ap, yuh fat bag a hump!
bag of mystery (n.) (also mystery, mystery bag) [their dubious constituents; note RN use mystery torpedoes, links of love; British Army use spotted mystery]

1. a saveloy, a sausage.

[UK]Lake’s Falmouth Packet 18 Dec. 3/6: More ‘Bags of Mystery’ [...] Walter Dunham, a butcher residing at Harlston, in Norfolk, has been summoned for sending putrid sausages to London for sale.
[UK]Shields Dly Gaz. 24 Nov. 3/3: A Widnes manufacturer of what are popularly known as ‘bags of mystery’, and technically termed sausages, was [...] fined £5 [...] for having in his shop food unfit for use.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 10 Apr. 3/2: [A] cook in New Zealand, who having been asked by her mistress to ‘cook the sausages at the same time as she made the tea,’ with charming innocence put what Professor Pepper would term the ‘bags of mystery’ into the tea-urn.
[UK]Portsmouth Eve. News 26 Oct. 3/3: Recent magisterial action [...] has somewhat enlightened the public as to the nature of the contents of those bags of mystery, yclept sausages.
[Aus]Sportsman 2 Feb. n.p.: But the mystery-bags of Sieur X, if we are to believe the common report, were far from being fragrant. This gentleman has been sentenced to six months’ imprisonment for ‘making sausages of tainted meat’ [F&H].
[UK]W.E. Henley ‘Culture in the Slums’ in Farmer Musa Pedestris 178: ‘Look sharp’, ses she, ‘with them there sossiges. / Yea! sharp with them there bags of mysteree!’.
[UK]E. Pugh Tony Drum 148: We’d have better pickles than these mouldy mysteries.
[UK]R. Whiteing No. 5 John Street 108: ‘Bag o’ mystery’ is the recognised equivalent for a saveloy.
[UK]Essex Newsman 6 Apr. 2/6: Johnny Falk [...] is a thrifty personage, and very cunning in the fabrication of mystery bags and queer dishes.
[UK]J. Ware Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era 15/2: If they’re going to keep running-in polony fencers for putting rotten gee-gee into the bags of mystery, I hope they won’t leave fried-fish-pushers alone.
[NZ]N.Z. Truth 26 Oct. 8/2: The ‘Bag of Mystery’ What it really contains. — Do you like German sausage.
Aberdeen Wkly Jrnl 21 Mar. 2/2: The ‘Bag of Mystery’. What the public wants to know is — what are sausages? Must they contain meat?
[UK]Bath Chron. 4 Aug. 25/6: The proprietor of a small City restaurant rattled off the following [...] ‘mysteries,’ sausages [...] ‘heap of coke,’ a loaf.
[UK]Gloucester Jrnl 8 Dec. 8/2: [advert] Warning! Much illness is caused at this time of year through eating unknown and unbranded ‘bags of mystery’ called sausages [...] Insist on having Wiblin’s ‘Royal Oxford’ Sausages.
[Aus]Mail (Adelaide) 9 Nov. 4/3: Sausages are not rationed [...] We used to call them ‘mysteries’ and ‘snags’.
[UK]W. London Obs. 13 Mar. 6/5: Guests sampled sausages containing 85 per cent meat [...] ‘What was in the old sausage?’ Answer: ‘It was a bag of mystery’.
[Aus] ‘Whisper All Aussie Dict.’ in Kings Cross Whisper (Sydney) xxxvi 4/2: mysteries: Pies or sausages.
[Aus]N. Keesing Lily on the Dustbin 21: She will also economise with food, serving ‘mystery bags’ (sausages) or some other cheap but substantial fare to her family.
[Aus]R. Aven-Bray Ridgey-Didge Oz Jack Lang 36: Mysteries Sausages.
[Aus]V. Darroch On Coast 76: Mystery bags: Sausages.

2. (Aus.) a meat pie.

[Aus]N. Cummins Adventures of the Honey Badger [ebook] The orders [...] usually consisted of a rat coffin or a leper in a sleeping bag (sausage rolls), maggot bag, dog’s eye or mystery bag (pies), dead horse (tomato sauce) and battery acid (cola).
bag of nails (n.) [joc. pron. of SE bacchanals + the disorder of such a bagful]

(Aus./US) chaos, disorder.

[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: Bag of Nails. he squints like a Bag of Nails i.e. his Eyes are directed as many ways as the points of a Bag of Nails.
[[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (2nd edn) n.p.: The old Bag of Nails at Pimlico; originally the bacchanals].
[US]J.D. McCabe Secrets of the Great City 358: The Detectives’ Manual gives a glossary of this language, from which we take the following specimens [...] Bag of nails. – All in confusion.
[US]Trumble Sl. Dict. (1890).
[UK]Farmer Americanisms.
[US]D. Hammett ‘The Big Knockover’ Story Omnibus (1966) 302: It was a swell bag of nails. Swing right, swing left, kick, swing right, swing left, kick.
[US]Maurer & Baker ‘“Aus.” Rhyming Argot’ in AS XIX:3.
bag of nuts (n.) (also bag of oats)

something, or someone, exceptional.

[UK](con. WWI) ‘Sapper’ Shorty Bill 210: Gaw lumme! ’Erb, we’ve struck the blinking bag of nuts ’ere!
[US]C. Odets Golden Boy II iv: Ahh, that Lombardo’s a bag of oats!
bag of shells (n.)

(Aus.) a trifle, an unimportant object.

Ray Lawler Dell Trilogy 125: josef: That would be kind. nancy: A bag of shells.
bag of smacked twats (n.)

see under twat n.

bag of snakes (n.)

1. (Aus.) a drooping female breast [such a bag is misshapen, lumpy, soft].

[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 40/2: ca. 1910–60.

2. (Can.) a lively, sexy young woman [the liveliness of such a bag].

[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 40/2: since 1955.
bag of tricks (n.) [SE bag of tricks, a clever or dextrous device]

1. the penis.

[UK] ‘Billy Taylor’s Three Square’ in Gentleman’s Spicey Songster 11: Billy Taylor was a gay young fellow, / Full of spunk, and full of glee; / With his whim-wham, bag of tricks, / Hanging down below his knee.
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.
‘Troy Conway’ Cunning Linguist (1973) 18: ‘If you’re really interested, I intend to show Suzette, Annette and Francette a few more of my bag of tricks’.

2. whatever one needs.

[Aus]C.J. Dennis Digger Smith 107: Bag of tricks—All one’s belongings.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 135: That Blavatsky woman started it. She was a nice old bag of tricks.
[US] (ref. to 1898) N. Kimball Amer. Madam (1981) 285: Now I’m going to turn you over to one of my girls. She’ll see you get the whole bag of tricks, the bath, the dress, the face colouring.
[US]J. Weidman I Can Get It For You Wholesale 199: I tell you, he had a regular bag of tricks.
[US](con. 1949) C. Chessman Cell 2455 314: If I had a potential bag full of tricks, why should I hesitate to use them?
[UK]Guardian Guide 10–16 July 98: Barry Sonnenfeld’s bottomless bag of camera tricks.

3. the vagina.

[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.
bag of tripe (n.) [tripe n.2 ]

an unpleasant person.

[UK]Cobbett’s Wkly Register 11 May 349: From all attacks of this serious and eflicient kind you are as safe as any great, bloated, squeaking, bag of tripe is from a pistol without ball in it.
[UK]Dundee Eve. Teleg. 12 Sept. 8: ‘You lump of muck.’ ‘You bag of tripe’.
[US]H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 392: A contemptible person, and sometimes, for emphasis, a bag of tripe.
bag of wind (n.) (also sack of wind)

a talkative person, a boaster.

Qly Theological Rev. July 310: President Bates is a pious, judicious, solid man; but Mr. Holley is a bag of wind. The former defends the cause of God his Saviour; the latter emits his poisonous breath, like the serpent which charms its victim.
J. Herma Spirits of Odin 2 236: Don’t take me for a bag of wind, I will, if you will sign my commission, be your man.
Olive Branch (NY) 13 Oct. 176/1: But what would B., the other Trustee, have thought if, he had known [...] that a bag of wind had already been sent off to load the great SNAPPING POP-GUN at Providence, which, in a few days, was to make its report [...] Oh what swelling words of vanity!!
J. Holbrook Ten Years among the Mail Bags 265: The former [fraudsters] were atrocious impostors, and the latter was only a bag of wind.
[US]J. Barber War Letters of a Disbanded Volunteer 132: I am afeard you will regaird me as little better'n a bag of wind in makin wot may seem to be vane pursenal illushins to myself, but I asshoor you I am not puft up in the leest.
[UK]Manchester Courier 4 June 3/1: When a man is called ‘a great bag of wind’ [...] it is [...] a very appropriate designation as applied to some men.
[US]Salt Lake Herald (UT) 8 Feb. 2/2: Murray was a bag of wind, a blusterer who simply made noise but achived nothing.
[UK]Sheffield Indep. 20 Feb. 8/6: If I can’t whip that bag of wind I don’t want a cent.
[US]Oasis (Arizola, AZ) 18 Sept. 8/1: You are a great big bag of wind was what [he] said to ‘Jolly Pat’ the heavy-weight pugilist.
M.J. Rodermund Fads in the Practice of Medicine 235: No two doctors wil agree [...] each stands upon his own bag of wind, assumption.
Review of Reviews 42 187: Methodism in Italy is nothing beyond [...] a counting-house of insults and injuries against the Catholic Church and its Pontiff, a big bag of wind and loud shouting.
[US]Maines & Grant Wise-crack Dict. 5/2: Bag of wind – Hefty talker who says nothing.
[US]T.T. Flynn ‘The Deadly Orchid’ in Goodstone Pulps (1970) 105/1: Listen to me, you sack of wind!
[US]F. Nebel ‘Winter Kill’ in Goulart (1967) 123: He’s screwy [...] He’s a bag of wind.
[US]E. Dundy Dud Avocado (1960) 74: Un véritable bag-of-wind, n’est-ce pas?
[Aus](con. 1944) L. Glassop Rats in New Guinea 29: You great big bag of wind and lard, you drunken sot.
[US](con. 1910s) F.M. Davis Livin’ the Blues 31: You ain’t nothing but a bag of wind and you know you’re lying.
bag o’ wank (n.) [wank n.]

a general term of abuse.

Nick ‘Wheaty’ Wheat ‘Match Report’ 11 Dec. on Derby.org [Internet] Full marks to Baldybloke because I sure wished I could have been on a private jet to Spain instead of having to endure this bag o’ wank.
The Fish Entry on Trainspotting Bükkes guestbook 13 Sept. [Internet] 2 bob the builder. shut ya mouth!! yor the bag of wank not us. trainspotters should be hung by their testicles by barbed wire covered in salt.
bag-o-wire (n.) [i.e. if one grasps a bag of (barbed) wire one will get hurt; Bag o’ Wire was black nationalist leader Marcus Garvey’s driver and allegedly betrayed him to the authorities]

(W.I. Rasta) a betrayer.

[Mighty Diamonds ‘They Never Love Poor Marcus’ [lyrics] Bag o’ Wire should burn in fire / The betrayer of Marcus Garvey].
[WI]Jamaica Journal 58: He was known as ‘Bag o’ Wire’, by school children who would sometimes stone him as a Judas.
[WI]D. Howard Kingston x: The never ending parade of street characters like Elephant, who was a big tree man; and Bag O Wire, who had betrayed Marcus Garvey.
P. Neate London Pigeon Wars 233: Ku pan bag-o-wire yout’ come een like ’im stoosh bakra. Cho! If I still hef the bucky me hefe shot teeth in yuh, son, fe real.
give someone the bag (v.) [the handing over of a fig. bag of problems, responsibilities etc; SE bag, i.e. of possessions; Nares, Glossary (1822), defines phr. as ‘to cheat’]

1. to depart suddenly.

[UK]Greene Quip for an Upstart Courtier F3: You shall haue those curses which belongs vnto your craft, you shall be light footed to travel farre, light witted vpon every small occasion to give your masters the bagge.
[UK]Dekker & Webster Westward Hoe IV i: I feare our oares haue giuen vs the bag.
[UK]Speedy Hue and Crie i: He being sometime an Apprentice on the London Bridge ... gave his master the bag [F&H].
[Ire]Purgatorium Hibernicum n.p.: And den, fen dou has play’d de vagge, / To give me, as before, de bagge! [BS].
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: Bag. he gave them the bag, i.e. left them.
P. Freneau Miscellaneous Works 414: He must give us the bag, Adhere to Old England, and sail with her flag.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (3rd edn).
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc.

2. to dismiss, usu. from a job.

[UK] ‘All England Are Slanging It’ Universal Songster I 39/2: Then I’ll take you before the beak, who’ll tip you some chaff, make you down with your bob, and then, perhaps, give you the bag.
‘Gladstone! The man of the People’ [broadsheet ballad] Old Dizzy has proved too clever by far / So give him the bag for his pains.

3. to jilt or reject a suitor, to end a relationship.

[US]Bartlett Dict. Americanisms 156: to give him the mitten. This phrase is used of a girl who discards her sweetheart. She gave him the mitten means that she gave her lover his dismissal or discarded him. In England the phrase to give him the sack or give him the bag, denotes the same thing.
hold the bag (v.)

see separate entry.

in the bag (orig. US)

1. implying certainty, termination.

(a) secured, made certain.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 19 May 24/1: Ikey doesn’t ‘cotton’ to the idea for various and obvious reasons, particularly as it would be impossible to have anything ‘in the bag’ with the machine.
[UK]Wodehouse Psmith Journalist (1993) 194: By the time you return, with a century or two, I trust, in your bag, the good work should, I fancy, be getting something of a move on.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 19 Nov. 5s/4: We’re in the bag for certain.
[US]Hecht & Fowler Great Magoo 95: Now listen, Champ. It’s in the bag.
[US]D. Maurer Big Con 243: Don’t level so hard on them, Erpy. It’s in the bag.
[Aus]D. Stivens Jimmy Brockett 12: I was getting ahead of myself. I hadn’t got Ziegler tied up, but I would have after that lunch I was planning to give him. It was as good as in the bag.
[UK]Wodehouse Jeeves in the Offing 29: I think the thing’s in the bag.
[UK]‘Hergé’ Tintin and the Land of Black Gold 54: All in the bag! ... That’s terrific!
[UK]M. Amis London Fields 14: Keith’s in the bag. Keith’s cool.
[US](con. 1986) G. Pelecanos Sweet Forever 45: With 3:10 to play, it looked like Alabama had it in the bag.
[UK]N. Barlay Hooky Gear 223: He reckon he can get 50 squids a unit. He reckon his end’s in the bag.

(b) of any situation, e.g. a trial or a sporting contest, the outcome has been made certain by the giving of bribes, doping of one or more contestants, horses etc.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 10 Dec. 24/1: Of course, [...] there’s always the chance that someone has got ’em both in the bag. I’m told there was some very tall betting last night; and there’s a dangerous-looking outsider, with only 6st. 7lb. up, that may cut in just when he can hurt most.
[US]D.H. Clarke In the reign of Rothstein 100: There is nothing anywhere [...] to support the assertions made in many quarters that Rothstein always bet only on ‘fixed’ races – races that were ‘in the bag’.
[UK]J. Curtis There Ain’t No Justice 42: The news gets round all my fights are in the bag.
[US]W. Winchell On Broadway 17 Nov. [synd. col.] Rumors said the fight at the Garden [...] was in the bag, but Ted Lewis groaned; ‘Everything was fixed except the other fighter’.
[Aus]D. Stivens Jimmy Brockett 100: Between us we had seven horses in the bag if we dropped hints to various hoops, owners and trainers we’d done favours for that we didn’t want their horse to win.
[US]Farbar ‘Hundred Dollar Eyes’ in Algren Lonesome Monsters (1963) 47: Don’t worry, kid, I told you it’s in the bag. You gonna beat him big.
[US]G.V. Higgins Digger’s Game (1981) 28: I had the fix in [...] It was in the bag.

(c) of a criminal, arrested, caught.

[UK]J. Buchan Mr Standfast (1930) 483: [of a soldier] I didn’t see how Peter and I were going to meet, unless I went out to the Front again and got put in the bag and sent to the same Boche prison.
[Aus]K. Tennant Joyful Condemned 47: He hasn’t got away [...] He’s as good as in the bag.
[UK]G.F. Newman You Flash Bastard 122: But if there’s nothing more than du Cann in the bag, you realise you might have to call your informer to give evidence.
[US]C. Stroud Close Pursuit (1988) 111: The rest of the police were on him at once and he was in the bag.

(d) committed.

[US]San Diego Sailor 42: My heart did another flip and I was right in the bag.
[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 73: You have to use a stronger philosophy . . . you have to really be in the bag.

2. (also in a bag) in trouble, facing difficulties.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 31 Dec. 44/1: Why, you had him in the bag!
[US]E. O’Neill Long Day’s Journey into Night II ii: Everything is in the bag! It’s all a frame-up! We’re all fall guys and suckers.
[US]J.D. MacDonald Price of Murder (1978) 12: I wouldn’t put myself in the bag.
[US]O. Hawkins Ghetto Sketches 86: I’m really in a bag, you dig . . . ?
[US]E. Torres After Hours 70: You’re in the bag.

3. (orig. US) in debt.

[US]J. O’Connor Broadway Racketeers 75: They had me in the bag for nearly 10 G’s [HDAS].
[US]J.P. McEvoy Hollywood Girl 202: The company was in the bag already for half a million dollars.
[US]J.D. MacDonald Price of Murder 68: Hell, if you’re really in the bag, why not screw Catton [and] take all that’s left [HDAS].

4. (orig. US, also in the wrapper, out of one’s bag) drunk; thus half in the bag, beginning to become drunk.

[US]M. Spillane Long Wait (1954) 92: She was usually half in the bag, and this time she had a beaut of a hangover.
[US]Ocean’s Eleven [film] He had been drinking steadily [...] yet one who did not know him well could never have told from his speech, his walk, or his visible reflexes that he was in the bag.
[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 144: out of one’s bag [...] very drunk, high or mad.
[US]G.V. Higgins Rat on Fire (1982) 79: When he came in she was half in the bag and she described him to everybody else in the joint.
[Aus]Age (Melbourne) 2 June 55/1: New Yorkers sound like they’ve had a few glugs before breakfast. Half in the bag, as they say.
[US]B. Hamper Rivethead (1992) 180: My old man called me up from Florida [...] The old man was already in the bag.
[US]Simon & Pelecanos ‘Duck and Cover’ Wire ser. 2 ep. 8 [TV script] Which is more than I can say about your grandfather when he was in the bag.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl.
[US]D. Winslow The Force [ebook] Brady comes out [of a bar], he’s half in the bag.

5. (US campus) feeling ill.

[US]Baker et al. CUSS 75: Bag, in the Have a minor illness, feel sick.
pull something out of the bag (v.) (also pull something out of the hat)

to come up with something special or surprising, something held in reserve.

[US]L. Uris Battle Cry (1964) 16: Old Lawrence would have pulled something out of the bag.
[Aus]S. Gore Holy Smoke 34: He had to pull one outa the hat to help his cobber, Moses!
[UK]J. Sullivan ‘Watching the Girls go by’ Only Fools and Horses [TV script] I’ve been phoning round some of my old girlfriends, see if I could pull something out of the hat for Rodney.
punch the bag (v.) [boxing imagery] (US)

to gossip, to chatter; to complain, to whinge.

[US]T.A. Dorgan in Zwilling TAD Lex. (1993) 67: (Listening to the boys salve the boss about the old tin cup he won on the links Saturday) Ain’t that bull awful? Can’t they punch the bag.
[US]Maines & Grant Wise-crack Dict. 12/2: Punching the bag – Incessant talking.
swing the bag (v.) [the bookmaker’s money bag]

(Aus.) of a bookmaker, to take bets at a racetrack.

E. Lane Mad as Rabbits 192: Until that momentous decision he used to ‘swing the bag’ at every race meeting within a fifty-mile radius, and even after he had reformed he didn’t dispose of his double-headed penny .
P. Adam-Smith Shearers 308: Jacky was swinging the bag (taking bets) and he didn’t want either horse to win.
take a bag (v.)

(US campus) to experience an undesirable situation.

[US]Baker et al. CUSS.

In exclamations

put your head in a bag!

be quiet! shut up!

Aldershottana xxi: I began to interlard my epistles with such choice inquiriesas ‘Whose your hatter?’ [...] ‘Do you see anything green here?’ — ‘Put your head in a bag,’ — ‘Over the left,’— ‘Help yourself,’— ‘He's a brick,’— ‘He's a trump’ .
[UK]Lincs. Chron. 15 Dec. 7/2: I made no other provoking remark to him except, ‘Go and put your head in a bag’.
C.J. Dunphie Splendid Advantages of Being a Woman 283: ‘Go! put your head in a bag!’ Yes, that was what the haughty young porter made answer. I was very angry; and threatened to report him.
Atalanta 8 74: ‘I must say Janie, after all the care that has been taken with your bringing up — ’ ‘Pouf! Put your head in a bag’.
[UK]J. Conrad Typhoon 170: Somebody told him to go and put his head in a bag.
[UK]E. Pugh Spoilers 90: ‘You go an’ put your ’ead in a bag,’ said Marketer. ‘An’ don’t let it be a good bag, either.’.
P.C. Wren Dew & Mildew 105: Cheese it, Carrots! Go and put your head in a bag [...] Stow your gab.
[US]Sun (NY) 17 Nov. 47/1: If the flippancy of the Englishman should happen to take the form of answering ‘Oh, put your head in a bag’ [etc.].
J. Masefield Prose Plays 31: Mrs. H: What Dolly Draggle-tails have you been with? Will H.: Ah, put your head in a bag! Mrs. H.: Put my head in a bag! [...] There’s a way to talk to a woman!
[UK]Yorks. Post 1 Mar. 8/1: Others said more crudely, ‘Oh, you put your head in a bag!’.