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A Sure Thing

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Hey, Bags and Girls!

As we venture into the holiday season, it’s common for kids’ imaginations to drift to what could be waiting for them inside a particular bag. You know which bag I mean…the large, brown one that travels across the world in a single night on a magical, flying sleigh. Yeah! That one. Is that one gift that you have your heart set on sitting inside? Well, if you’ve behaved well throughout the year, it’s probably safe to say you’ve got it in the bag.

There are countless turns of phrases and old sayings for us to look into to find out why we say things like ‘Dead as a Doornail’ and ‘Birds of a Feather Flock Together’. These sayings are deeply embedded into our everyday speech; you probably don’t even know it when you’re using one. Today let’s take a look at the phrase ‘In the Bag’.

This phrase is used in Australia to mean the opposite of how we came to use it in America. When they use it down under, they mean to have essentially lost a game. If your favorite sports team was down by four touchdowns to begin the fourth quarter, you would say that your team was ‘In the Bag’.

In America, however, if you’ve got something ‘In the Bag’, then you mean to say that something is as good as in your hands. The American version came about because of a superstitious tradition of the New York Giants baseball team. As described in an Ohio newspaper ‘The Mansfield News’ from 1920 called the team’s superstitious tradition “…a belief that if the [ball] bag is carried off the field at [the ninth possession] of the game with the Giants in the lead the game is in the bag and cannot be lost."

After 26 victories in a row, you would believe in the tradition too! I would wish you luck in any upcoming challenges you’ll be facing, but I’m sure you have it all in the bag. We’ll catch you in the new year for our next Adage Origin. And, as always, thanks for reading, Folks!


- John

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