baggage

   At the beginning of the seventeenth century it was possible to call a man ‘a baggage’, meaning that he was a worthless fellow, a nuisance. Apart from its luggage sense, the word at that time had also come to mean ‘rubbish’ or ‘refuse’. Applied to women in the early seventeenth century, ‘baggage’ meant a prostitute or a thoroughly worthless woman. By the latter half of that century, its meaning had considerably softened. A girl could now be called a sly or saucy baggage and would interpret the word as ‘wench’ or ‘rogue’. It is sometimes difficult to know, therefore, the exact force of ‘you baggage’ in a play like Romeo and Juliet, where Capulet uses it to his daughter. When Juliet tells him that she does not want to marry Paris he cries: ‘Out, you baggage!’ and equates this with ‘you tallow-face’, ‘mistress minion’, ‘disobedient wretch’, ‘hilding’. From the early seventeenth century onwards it was only women who were called ‘baggages’. The term would only be used now, one suspects, in a jokey way by a fairly literate speaker to a youngish woman. The really insulting use of ‘baggage’ has been transposed to ‘you old bag’ or ‘bat’.

A dictionary of epithets and terms of address . . 2015.

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  • baggage — 1. Baggage and luggage overlap in use, although baggage generally connotes something heavier and bulkier and less easily transportable by hand. Some collocations are more or less fixed, e.g. excess baggage, baggage claim, baggage handler; and a… …   Modern English usage

  • baggage — UK US /ˈbægɪdʒ/ noun [U] (UK ALSO luggage) TRANSPORT ► the cases, bags, etc. that you take with you when you travel: »Have a name tag on each piece of baggage. »You ll need to put any sharp objects into your checked baggage. ● carry on/hand… …   Financial and business terms

  • baggage — ag gage (b[a^]g g[asl]j), n. [F. bagage, from OF. bague bundle. In senses 6 and 7 cf. F. bagasse a prostitute. See {Bag}, n.] 1. The clothes, tents, utensils, and provisions of an army. [1913 Webster] Note: The term itself is made to apply… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • baggage — mid 15c., portable equipment of an army; plunder, loot, from O.Fr. bagage baggage, (military) equipment (14c.), from bague pack, bundle, sack, ultimately from the same Scandinavian source that yielded BAG (Cf. bag) (n.). Baggage smasher (1851)… …   Etymology dictionary

  • baggage — [bag′ij] n. [ME & OFr bagage < bagues, baggage < ML bagga, chest, bag, prob. < ON baggi, bag] 1. the trunks, bags, etc. of a traveler, esp. when packed and being used on a trip; luggage 2. the supplies and gear of an army 3. [assoc., in… …   English World dictionary

  • Baggage — est un court métrage américain réalisé et écrit par l actrice Cara Buono en 1997. Sommaire 1 Synopsis 2 Fiche technique 3 Distribution 4 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • baggage — ► NOUN 1) personal belongings packed in suitcases for travelling. 2) experiences or long held opinions perceived as encumbrances: emotional baggage. 3) dated a cheeky or disagreeable girl or woman. ORIGIN Old French bagage, from baguer tie up ,… …   English terms dictionary

  • baggage — index cargo Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • baggage — [n] gear accoutrements, bags, belongings, carry on, effects, equipment, fortnighter, gear, impedimenta, luggage, overnighter*, paraphernalia, parcels, slough, suitcases, things, tote, tote bag, trappings, two suiter; concept 494 …   New thesaurus

  • baggage — noun (esp. AmE) ADJECTIVE ▪ carry on, hand (BrE) ▪ checked (esp. AmE), checked in (BrE) ▪ Any sharp objects must go in your checked baggage. ▪ excess …   Collocations dictionary

  • baggage — [[t]bæ̱gɪʤ[/t]] 1) N UNCOUNT Your baggage consists of the bags that you take with you when you travel. The passengers went through immigration control and collected their baggage. ...excess baggage. Syn: luggage 2) N UNCOUNT: usu with supp You… …   English dictionary

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