bag of shells

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Misconstruction of bagatelle (trifle).


bag of shells (plural bags of shells)

  1. Used other than with a figurative or idiomatic meaning: see bag,‎ shell.
  2. A trifle.
    • 1914, Matthew M. Colton, Frank Armstrong at college, page 39:
      For an ordinary intellect, yes, but for me a mere bagatelle, or bag-of-shells, as the ancients have it.