In the Bag (Origin)

What Is the Origin of the Saying "In the Bag"?

The term "in the bag" means secured or guaranteed. It is most commonly seen the sentence "It is in the bag."

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In the Bag (Origin)

Examples of Use:

  • You've been studying for months. You've got it in the bag.
  • That role is in the bag. I saw your audition.
  • After the second goal, the team knew they had it in the bag.
"In the bag" originates from US baseball in the 1910s, specifically from the New York Giants. The Giants had a superstition that if the ball bag was carried off the field with The Giants in lead, then the game would be won.

This superstition was recorded in 1920 in "The Mansfield News" (Ohio newspaper).
  • "An old superstition was revived at the Polo grounds, New York, recently when Eddie Sicking was dispatched to the clubhouse with the ball bag at the start of the ninth possession of one run lead. This superstition originated during the run of twenty-six consecutive victories made by the Giants in 1916, the significance of it resting in a belief that if the bag is carried off the field at that stage of the game with the Giants in the lead the game is in the bag and cannot be lost."
From a grammatical perspective, "in the bag" is a prepositional phrase functioning as an adjective. It is therefore an adjectival phrase.

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This page was written by Craig Shrives.