baggage

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English bagage, from Old French bagage, from bague (bundle), from Germanic (compare bag).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

baggage (usually uncountable, plural baggages)

  1. (usually uncountable) Luggage; traveling equipment
    Please put your baggage in the trunk.
    • 1929, Charles Georges Souli, Eastern Shame Girl[1]:
      As soon as they had determined on their course, Ya-nei slid under the bed, and made himself a place among the baggages.
    • 1991 September 20, Jonathan Rosenbaum, “Love Films: A Cassavetes Retrospective”, in Chicago Reader[2]:
      Alone, she clings to her baggages on the street.
    • 2014 August 21, “A brazen heist in Paris [print version: International New York Times, 22 August 2014, p. 8]”, in The New York Times[3]:
      The audacious hijacking in Paris of a van carrying the baggage of a Saudi prince to his private jet is obviously an embarrassment to the French capital, whose ultra-high-end boutiques have suffered a spate of heists in recent months.
  2. (uncountable, informal) Factors, especially psychological ones, which interfere with a person's ability to function effectively.
    This person has got a lot of emotional baggage.
    • 1846, Henry Francis Cary, Lives of the English Poets[4]:
      [] How much shall I honour one, who has a stronger propensity to poetry, and has got a greater name in it, if he performs his promise to me of putting away these idle baggages after his sacred espousal.
    • 2017 May 21, John Oliver, “Stupid Watergate”, in Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, season 4, episode 13, HBO:
      Flynn was so flawed, team Trump was repeatedly warned about his baggage by both then acting AG Sally Yates and President Obama, and even as reported this week, General Flynn himself! But Trump kept standing by him anyway, which kind of makes sense in a way, because literally every decision in the Trump administration is the worst possible one. “Paper or plastic? Whichever one kills the most birds!” “Soup or salad? I’m gonna go with the n-word!” “Favorite Beatle? It’s got to be Yoko!”
  3. (obsolete, countable, pejorative) A woman.
    • 1828, Various, The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 10, No. 288[5]:
      Betty and Molly (they were soft-hearted baggages) felt for their master--pitied their poor master!
    • 1897, Charles Whibley, A Book of Scoundrels[6]:
      But he had a roving eye and a joyous temperament; and though he loved me better than any of the baggages to whom he paid court, he would not visit me so often as he should.
    • 1910, Gertrude Hall, Chantecler[7]:
      But your perverse attempts to wring blushes from little baggages in convenient corners outrage my love of Love!
    • 1936: Like the Phoenix by Anthony Bertram
      However, terrible as it may seem to the tall maiden sisters of J.P.'s in Queen Anne houses with walled vegetable gardens, this courtesan, strumpet, harlot, whore, punk, fille de joie, street-walker, this trollop, this trull, this baggage, this hussy, this drab, skit, rig, quean, mopsy, demirep, demimondaine, this wanton, this fornicatress, this doxy, this concubine, this frail sister, this poor Queenie--did actually solicit me, did actually say 'coming home to-night, dearie' and my soul was not blasted enough to call a policeman.
    • 1964: My Fair Lady (film)
      Shall we ask this baggage to sit down or shall we just throw her out of the window?
  4. (military, countable and uncountable) An army's portable equipment; its baggage train.
    • 1865, Thomas Carlyle, History of Friedrich II of Prussia[8]:
      Friedrich decides to go down the River; he himself to Lowen, perhaps near twenty miles farther down, but where there is a Bridge and Highway leading over; Prince Leopold, with the heavier divisions and baggages, to Michelau, some miles nearer, and there to build his Pontoons and cross.
    • 2007, Norman Davies, No Simple Victory: World War II in Europe, 1939–1945, New York: Penguin, p 305:
      In Poland, for example, the unknown Bolesław Bierut, who appeared in 1944 in the baggage of the Red Army, and who played a prominent role as a ‘non-party figure’ in the Lublin Committee, turned out to be a Soviet employee formerly working for the Comintern.

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