The idiom "bag and baggage" refers to all the belongings someone has and often implies leaving or arriving with all of one's possessions. Moreover, it's also used metaphorically to describe accepting or rejecting everything or everyone associated with a situation.
"Bag and baggage" typically represent total inclusion or exclusion of every aspect, item, or person involved in a situation.
The phrase suggests a comprehensive approach, whether it's about moving, departing, arriving, or addressing a situation. For example, you might pack up a bag and baggage when moving house, meaning you take everything you own with you.
Let's explore its core meanings:
The phrase "bag and baggage" originates from the 1400s and originally referred to an army's property. To "march off bag and baggage" meant that the departing army was not leaving anything behind for the enemy's use. The phrase soon came to be used more generally to mean "with all possessions" or "completely."
The phrase can also be used to refer to the total, complete, or comprehensive nature of something. For instance, if a person rejects an idea of "bag and baggage," they are rejecting it in its entirety, not just certain parts of it.
“With bag and baggage, selye wretch, / I yelded into Beautie’s hand.”
- Tottel’s Miscellany, Richard Tottel, 1557
Here are some examples of using the idiom in sentences:
The phrase "bag and baggage" occasionally appears in pop culture, often referring to the idea of comprehensive change or total inclusion or exclusion.
Let's examine some examples:
There are numerous alternative expressions that convey a similar meaning to "bag and baggage."
Here are some of them:
"Bag and baggage" generally refers to all of one's possessions or everything associated with a situation or group.
You can use "bag and baggage" to signify total inclusion or exclusion. For example, "I left my old job bag and baggage."
The term originated in the late 16th century and is used to denote all of a person's property.
"Bag and baggage" is neither overly formal nor overly casual; it's appropriate in many contexts, including informal and formal speech and writing.
No, while it often refers to personal belongings, especially in the context of travel or relocation, it can also refer to the entirety of a situation or group.
Yes, "bag and baggage" can be used metaphorically to refer to all aspects of a situation, including people, things, ideas, or conditions.
Yes, while it may not be as commonly used as some other idioms, "bag and baggage" is still a recognizable and frequently used phrase in English.
Yes, other idioms that convey a similar meaning include "lock, stock, and barrel" and "everything but the kitchen sink."
Not inherently, but it can take on negative connotations if used in contexts related to eviction or dismissal.
Yes, "bag and baggage" can be used in professional or academic writing. However, as with any idiom, its use should be limited and appropriate to the context.
The idiom "bag and baggage" refers to the entirety of one's possessions or everything associated with a situation or group. It can be used in both literal and metaphorical contexts and is neither overly formal nor overly casual.
Here's a quick recap:
Whether discussing moving houses or complete immersion in a situation, "bag and baggage" is a colorful idiom that adds richness to our language.