Discover the many colorful idioms featuring the word “bag” in this comprehensive guide, complete with meanings and example sentences. From “let the cat out of the bag” to “pack your bags,” explore how these common phrases add depth and character to our everyday language. Whether you’re a language learner or just curious about idiomatic expressions, this post has something for everyone.
Idioms With Bag
- “To have someone in the bag” – This means to have someone securely under one’s control or influence. Example: “I’m confident that I have the job in the bag after the successful interview.”
- “To be in the bag” – This means to be certain or guaranteed. Example: “I think the election is in the bag for the incumbent candidate based on the latest poll results.”
- “To carry the day” – This means to be victorious or successful. Example: “The home team carried the day with a stunning comeback in the final quarter.”
- “To have a trick up one’s sleeve” – This means to have a secret plan or advantage. Example: “I’m not worried about the competition because I have a few tricks up my sleeve.”
- “A bag of bones” – This means to be very thin and frail. Example: “After months of illness, he was just a bag of bones and needed to gain weight.”
- “To put all one’s eggs in one basket” – This means to risk everything on a single opportunity or venture. Example: “I don’t like to put all my eggs in one basket, so I always diversify my investments.”
- “A wild card in the bag” – This means to have an unexpected or unpredictable factor that can change the outcome. Example: “The new player on the team is a wild card in the bag, and we never know what to expect from him.”
bag and baggage
The idiom “bag and baggage” is used to describe a situation where someone is leaving a place or situation and taking all of their possessions with them. It implies a complete departure or removal, leaving nothing behind. For example, you might say “After the breakup, she left the house with all her belongings, bag and baggage” or “The family left their home, bag and baggage, in search of a new life.” The phrase “bag and baggage” emphasizes the completeness of the departure and is often used in a dramatic or emotional context.
bag of tricks
The idiom “bag of tricks” is used to describe someone’s collection of techniques, strategies, or skills that they can use to achieve a goal or solve a problem. It implies a resourcefulness and creativity in the face of challenges, as if someone has a secret collection of tools that they can draw upon at any moment. For example, you might say “As a salesperson, he always has a bag of tricks to convince customers to buy” or “The magician’s bag of tricks includes disappearing acts and sleight of hand.” The phrase “bag of tricks” suggests a level of expertise and versatility, and is often used to describe someone who is particularly adept at their profession or craft.
Be Left holding the bag (Leave someone holding the bag)
The idiom “be left holding the bag” (or “leave someone holding the bag”) is used to describe a situation where someone is unfairly or unexpectedly made responsible for a problem or situation, often as a result of someone else’s actions or mistakes. It implies a sense of being abandoned or left to deal with the consequences alone. For example, you might say “After the project failed, I was left holding the bag to explain it to the boss” or “The company went bankrupt and left its employees holding the bag without severance pay.” The phrase “be left holding the bag” emphasizes the unfairness of the situation and the burden that falls on the person who is left with the responsibility.
let the cat out of the bag
The idiom “let the cat out of the bag” is used to describe a situation where someone reveals a secret or confidential information, often unintentionally. It implies a sense of surprise or shock, as if something that was supposed to be kept hidden or unknown has suddenly been exposed. For example, you might say “He accidentally let the cat out of the bag about the surprise party” or “The leak let the cat out of the bag about the company’s new product before it was announced.” The phrase “let the cat out of the bag” suggests a loss of control over information and can be used to describe a situation where trust or confidentiality has been violated.