mystery bag

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Etymology 1[edit]

From mystery + bag.


mystery bag (plural mystery bags)

  1. A bag whose contents are unknown.
    Synonym: (informal) blind bag
    • 2010, Barbara Isaacs, Sandy Green (series editor), Bringing the Montessori Approach to Your Early Years Practice, Second edition, page 43,
      An activity in this area, which focuses on the tactile aspects, without using visual discrimination, is the mystery bag. This bag contains sets of matching objects; the child is expected to pair them by feel.
    • 2010, Reba D, Facing Forward - a Life Reclaimed, page 22,
      I drove home with the mystery bag on the seat beside me. I was going to do as he asked and wait until I got home to open it.
  2. A surprise package randomly picked, a lucky dip.
  3. A non-specific mixed lot of a product at the supplier's choice.

Etymology 2[edit]

From 19th c. British rhyming slang for snag (sausage), influenced by sense “bag whose contents are unknown”. [1]


mystery bag (plural mystery bags)

  1. (now Australia, slang) A sausage.
    • 2010, Kathleen M. McGinley, Out of the Daydream: Based on the Autobiography of Barry McGinley Jones, page 20,
      Bully beef and spuds, tripe, fish′n chips, Anzac bikkies, damper with cocky′s joy (golden syrup), snags (or mystery bags) and hot custard and jelly for sweets.
  2. (Australia, slang) A pie.


  1. ^ mystery bags”, entry in 2009, Tony Thorne, Dictionary of Contemporary Slang.