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AE 446 – Expression: Bag Someone
G’day, you mob! How’s it going? And are welcome to this episode of The Aussie English Podcast. The number one podcast out there for anyone and everyone wanting to learn Australian English. So, if you’re after an Australian accent, if you want to understand our slang, or our accent in general, if you want to use expressions that we use, if you just want to have a better understanding of the Australian dialect of English, this is the podcast for you guys.
So, I hope you have been having an absolutely awesome week. I’ve just driven down from Canberra all the way down to Melbourne to see my folks and see my sister, her partner, and their kid as well, my little niece. So, it was a long drive. I came down yesterday, but I’m definitely glad to be here, and I did that because my girlfriend Kel has gone overseas for a few days. She’s gone to China for work. So, lucky Kel. She’s in Beijing. So, lucky her she’s seeing all the sights and sending me photos and I’m quite jealous that she is having such a good time. But yeah, drove down. It took about seven hours yesterday to get here. So, I think I left early in the morning, maybe about 9:00 o’clock, 9:30, and I got here by about 6 something PM, so a little after 6:00 pm in the evening.
So, it was pretty cruisy. Stopped a few times and got some food, but yeah just sort of enjoyed the drive and enjoyed my time to myself in the car listen to some audiobooks, listen to some podcasts, and just relax in general.
Anyway, so today’s expression is going to be related to the word ‘bag’. Right? So, to bag someone, to bag on someone, to bag someone out.
We’ll get to that soon, but I was sort of sitting there and I’m thinking, “How can I relate ‘bag’ to Australia? How can I connect these two things?”. And I couldn’t think of any movies or any other sort of tid bits, bits of information, facts, or anything. So, I thought instead I would tell you a little story about bags in Canberra that we sort of experienced when we moved there to kick the episode off, to begin the episode. We’ll kick it off with a little anecdote here, guys.
So, you can get plastic bags when you go to shopping centres here in Victoria. You go to shopping centres, you tend to get all your stuff, all your groceries, all the stuff you buy, they’ll chuck it, they’ll put it, in plastic shopping bags, you know? Those disposable one-use plastic shopping bags. And there’s a big argument about how that is bad for the environment, should we do it, should we be selling these bags, or should we be using them, ’cause quite often they’re free. And so, in Victoria you can do this. It’s sort of taken, it’s a given here that you’ll get your groceries in a bag.
Anyway, we moved to Canberra and one of the first things that we noticed was the fact that plastic bags aren’t provided. You can’t get single-use plastic bags in Canberra. They’re illegal. They’ve been outlawed since, I think, the first of November, 2011. So, nearly seven years now. I didn’t know this.
So, we moved there and quite a few times we would take all of our things to the checkout. So, the checkout chick would put all the stuff through and she wouldn’t put it in a bag, and we’d be left there. I remember the first time being like, “Ah… What?”.
And what you have to do in Canberra now is you actually have to pick up what are more durable plastic bags, then take them to the checkout, and then buy them, they’re 15 cents a piece, 15 cents each, and then she puts the stuff in your bag.
So, we had to go through that process. And that’s the same everywhere. You don’t automatically get these single-use shopping bags. So, they have to be, I think, thicker than 35 microns and they have to be durable so that they can be reused. So, now we have to try and remember every time we go to the shops if we don’t want to buy plastic bags, we’ve got to bring our own. We have to provide our own. But yeah, that was interesting and that was something I had to get used to once I moved there.
Anyway guys, I don’t really have many announcements today. I am still working my butt off on the Aussie English Classroom, guys. Remember that and the Patreon page is what helps me create this content. So, if you want to support the podcast you can go to TheAussieEnglishPodcast.com website, click support, you can donate as little as a dollar a month via Patreon. You can also donate a one-off payment via Paypal if that is what you would like to do. And if you would like to learn English even faster and get in-depth episodes, get courses, get quizzes, get extra MP3s, extra videos with these lessons, then sign up to the Aussie English Classroom. That is my secret weapon for you guys who like to study and who want to take your English to the next level faster, guys. So, remember that is just one dollar for the first 30 days. TheAussieEnglishClassroom.com. The link will be in the transcript.
I’m still thinking about when to bring in the paid access to transcripts for the podcast website, guys. I’m probably going to do that in the next week or two. I just have to get everything set up on the website. So, I’ll have to work that out.
Anyway guys, I will let you know when that happens. And I guess, that’s it for announcements. We’ll get into the joke, alright?
So, I got a joke for you guys here today. What do you call a lazy baby kangaroo? What do you call a lazy baby kangaroo? So, a joey. What do you call a lazy baby kangaroo? And the answer? ‘A pouch potato’. ‘A pouch potato’. Okay? I’ll explain this to you if you don’t already understand the pun there, guys, the play on words.
‘A couch potato’ in English, and this is used everywhere, is someone who sits on a couch and is constantly on the couch watching TV, playing PlayStation or Xbox, lounging around, being very lazy. They’re a couch potato, because they’re always on the couch, you know, and they’re like a potato. I don’t know why we use potato, that vegetable, but we use it to say this person is lazy. They’re a couch potato.
Baby kangaroos, obviously, live in the pouch of their mothers. The joeys for the first, I don’t know how many months, maybe three, four, five months of their life, they live inside their mother’s pouch, because they’re marsupials, the mothers have pouches that they raise their young in.
So, the play on words here is between the word ‘couch’ and ‘pouch’, right? So, ‘a couch potato’ is someone lazy and in this case, what do you call a lazy kangaroo, baby kangaroo? ‘A pouch potato’, because they’re lazy and they’re in the pouch.
Alright. So, I hope you get that joke, guys.
Today’s expression is ‘to bag someone’, ‘to bag someone out’, or ‘to bag on someone’. So, there’s a few variations of this expression. And this comes from M L. I don’t know your full name, but M L from YouTube, he came on there and asked me can I please explain the expression ‘to bag someone’, ‘to bag on someone’, ‘bag someone out’. Okay.
So, as usual guys, let’s go through the words in this expression. They tend to be pretty simple today. ‘To bag something’. Let’s start with that.
If you bag something. This can mean several different things. So, you can bag something as in to put something in a bag. So, for instance, in Canberra, I might go into a grocery store, pick up my groceries, the stuff I want to buy, I then pick up a bag that I have to buy at the checkout, and then at the checkout chick, the person that is checking out the food, will bag the food. They’ll put the food in the bag.
‘To bag’ can also mean to succeed at getting something or acquiring something, securing something. So, if, for example, you’re a hunter and you’re trying to kill something or catch something, you know, maybe you’re hunting deer or something like that in Australia or a large kangaroo, a buck kangaroo. If you catch that animal, you’ve bagged it, you’ve caught it.
So, we could use this also though for receiving something or getting something like an award. So, for example, in Australia we have the ARIAs and Aria stands for Annual Australian Recording Industry Association Music Awards. So, these are given out to Australian musicians. So, if you went to the ARIAs, you were nominated for three ARIAs, and you bagged them all, it means you succeeded in acquiring them, you got them, you received those three awards, you bagged them.
But ‘to bag’ today means to criticise someone, to tease someone, to insult someone, and this is an Australian and New Zealand informal piece of English. It’s an informal expression that’s used mainly in Australia or in New Zealand.
And so, for example, you might tease someone at school, you’re bagging them. You might be really nasty to the football team that is the opponent of your footy team. You’re bagging them. Okay?
And so, that’s the expression, guys. But there are two different variants, right? You can say ‘to bag someone out’ or ‘to bag on someone’. They mean exactly the same thing. So, if I bag you, I tease you. If I bag you out, I tease you. If I bag on you, I tease you. They all mean the same thing.
And you may hear from time to time, also in Australia, ‘to pay someone out’. ‘To bag someone out’ and ‘to pay someone out’. I’m not sure where these originate from, but they are phrasal verbs that you will hear and they mean to insult, to criticise, or to tease someone.
And this can be playful. So, could be like you’re joking around. It’s not really very nasty, but it can also be that you’re being incredibly harsh or horrible to someone.
One thing I wanted to mention here, guys, when we make a phrasal verb like ‘to bag on someone’, to, you could also say less formally, even more informally, ‘to hang shit on someone’. That’s a very, very informal way of saying ‘to bag someone’, to be teasing someone, to be nasty to someone, and it’s more informal because you’re using the word ‘shit’, okay? ‘To hang shit on someone’.
But I want to point out how we’re using the particle ‘on’ here. So, if you bag on someone, ‘on’ here is being used to show the subject that is receiving the action of the verb, okay? You’re bagging ‘on’ a person. So, it shows that that person is receiving the action of the verb ‘to bag’.
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So, some other examples here. ‘To walk out on someone’. So, ‘to walk out on someone’ is to abandon someone. So, ‘to walk out’, you’re exiting, but if you’re exiting ‘on’ a person, it’s your exiting and the person is the one who is receiving the action of the verb. So, ‘to walk out on someone’, ‘to abandon someone’. She walked out ‘on’ her husband. So, it’s her husband that it happened to.
‘To impact on someone’ is to affect someone. So, what you do impacts on everyone. So, if you’re really horrible, it impacts ‘on’ your entire family. Your family are the ones who receive that action.
And the last example is ‘to look down on someone’ and that is to regard or treat someone as inferior. So, if your boss thinks that you’re inferior to him, he looks down ‘on’ you. You’re the one receiving that action from that verb. He looks down ‘on’ you.
So, that’s why we used ‘to bag on someone’ in that case.
Unfortunately, with regards ‘to pay out’, there’s no real pattern here. It’s just a collocation. It’s just a phrase you’ll have to learn. ‘To bag someone out’, ‘to pay someone out’.
The reason I wanted to sort of break this down for you today, guys, is because this week I’m going to do a discount for the phrasal verb course that I have, The Effortless Phrasal Verb course. So, if you would like to learn to use phrasal verbs effortlessly like a native speaker without having to memorise a heap of lists, this is the course for you.
What I do here, guys, is that I take you systematically through a series of about 16 or so lectures for the different particles. Particles like: on, off, up, down, to, etc.. And for each particle I give you a lecture where I describe the different ways that you can join this particle to verbs, for instance, ‘to bag on’, ‘to bag out’, and I talk about the cognitive linguistics, so what a native speaker is thinking about in their mind when they do this, because native speakers aren’t thinking about, “Okay I need a phrasal verb that means ‘exit'”. They’re thinking about a verb and then a particle, and then joining them together to create a phrasal verb. Okay? So, they’re not memorizing these things by heart. They’re thinking action or the verb, and then they’re thinking and the direction or the movement, the change in position, “Okay, I need this particle to describe that.”.
Anyway, so you’re going to get $21 off the Effortless Phrasal Verb course if you use the coupon code number 21OFF. So, that is 210FF. The link will be in the transcript, guys, and you will get the course for only $89, nearly 20% less than usual, instead of $110.
So, I’ve had a lot of students go through this course now, they’ve had amazing results, guys, and they are absolutely nailing, they’re absolutely dominating phrasal verbs after completing this.
So, get in there, I know that you’re going to enjoy it, and after this, after completing the course, phrasal verbs are going to be much less of an issue for you.
Anyway guys, I want to talk about the origin of this expression, and then we’ll go through some examples. We’ll go through a listen and repeat exercise, and then we can finish up for the day.
Alright. So, there was one hypothesis that I found from a discussion online that was the following: Young boys at schools for the last hundred years or so, potentially thousands of years, have been pulling each other’s pants down as a form of humiliation. So, they often do this as like an initiation rite for other kids or it could be like a punishment for undesirable behaviour, or they could do it just to show dominance, and this was definitely the case when I was at school, and we used to refer to this as ‘dacking someone’, ‘to dack someone’, was to sort of sneak up behind them, pull their pants down, and laugh at them, because, you know, they would trip over or they just have their pants down and you can see their underwear. It would be something that was… wasn’t the nicest thing you could ever do to someone, but it definitely happened.
Anyway, it’s obviously a form of bullying. It’s a form of dominance and you’re depriving a victim, the person who’s been dacked, of his pants and you’re stripping him of his dignity and, symbolically, you’re ostracising him as unworthy, right, to associate with other kids.
So, in Britain apparently this is referred to as ‘debagging’ or ‘bagging’ someone, right, and ‘bags’ was a slang term for trousers, for pants. So, it was derived from an earlier expression used in Britain, ‘bum-bags’, because the pants that you wore were seen as like a bag for your bottom, for your arse, for your posterior, for your bum.
So, apparently, this was happening at Oxford. All the undergraduates used to dack each other, or bag each other, apparently, or debag each other, all throughout the 20th century.
So, this practice had obviously become incredibly common after elastic-waisted pants were being used all the time instead of suspenders, right? So, elastic-waisted pants or pants with a belt are the ones that are sort of supported by something around your waist, and pants that use suspenders are where you have the leather or elastic that goes over your shoulders and clips onto your pants to hold them up, and for obvious reasons, you can’t really dack someone who’s using suspenders, because, you know, the pants will go straight back up. You can’t pull them down.
So, if you bagged someone, back in the day, this was a form of humiliation or bullying, because you’d pull their pants down to embarrass them. But since this time, it’s obviously morphed, it’s transformed, it’s evolved, into meaning to tease someone or to insult or criticise someone. So, now we can say, ‘to bag someone’, ‘to bag on someone’, or ‘to bag someone out’, and we can say ‘to pay someone out’, which I think, I would hypothesise, I would assume, ‘to pay someone out’ is something that has come from ‘to bag someone out’, and that is an incredibly common phrase, ‘to pay someone out’, that you will hear Australian kids use. This is the kind of thing I used at high school and I would still use with people my age when you are teasing someone or insulting someone. You’re bagging them out, you’re paying them out, you’re teasing them.
Alright, so let’s go through some examples, guys.
Example number one. You’re a kid at school. You’re in the playground. You’re playing cricket or footy on the oval and one kid that you know at school is hopeless. He can’t play ball games. So, he’s absolutely horrible when he plays cricket. He’s always getting bowled out for a duck, which means as soon as it’s his turn to bat, to try and hit the ball, he gets bowled out, the ball hits the wickets, and he doesn’t score a run. He gets bowled out for a duck. Or if he’s playing footy, maybe any time he gets the ball he drops it or he kicks it out of bounds on the full instead of scoring a point or a goal in the game. So, all the other kids on his team are going to be like, “This kid’s useless! He sucks! He can’t play for shit!”. That’s a very informal way of saying that you can’t do something at all, you ‘can’t do that thing for shit’. So, they might bag him. They might bag on him. They might bag him out. They might pay him out. And as a throwback to previous episodes, if their words pack a bit of a punch, he might get really upset, but years later, after a long time, if kids apologise to him for this, it’s probably going to be water under the bridge. So, those were the last two episodes that we did on the expressions, ‘to pack a bit of a punch’ and ‘water under the bridge’.
Alright, so example number two. Now you’re a teenager. You’re a young adult. Hopefully, you’ve gotten a lot better at ball games. But imagine now we’re talking about fashion and fashion trends, and this seems to be a pattern everywhere where young kids end up getting different styles of haircuts wearing different kinds of clothes that make them unique. Imagine that you’ve come home one day you’ve got a new haircut or maybe you’ve bought a different jacket or jumper, some piece of clothing that looks really different, your parents might be like, “What on earth are you wearing? You look like a weirdo. You look incredibly strange with that haircut?” you know, “Get a proper haircut! Did the store run out of good clothing or something? What’s wrong with you?”. So, if your parents do that, if your folks do that, they’re bagging you, they’re bagging on you, they’re bagging you out, they’re paying you out.
Example number three. Alright, for the last example here imagine you’re a musician. You’ve grown up playing the piano or playing violin or playing guitar and you love classical music. Now this is relatively uncommon among kids. Most kids tend to like contemporary music instead of classical music by composers like Mozart or Beethoven or Brahms. So, despite this, you’re often playing this music. You’re practicing it. Maybe you play it yourself on the violin, piano, or guitar, or maybe you listen to it on record or on CD. So, when you do this, your friends might come over and, you know, they’re not used to classical music so they might tease you, they might make fun of you, and they might say things like, “What’s with the old music, grandpa? or “What happened? Did iTunes stop selling good music?”. If they’re doing this, they’re bagging, they’re paying you out, they’re bagging you out, they’re bagging on you.
So, hopefully by now, guys, you understand the expression ‘to bag someone’ or the different variations ‘to bag on someone’, ‘to bag someone out’ or ‘to pay someone out’. They all effectively mean to tease someone, to insult someone, to criticise someone. And it can be playful, you know, it can be kind of friendly teasing, or it can be incredibly harsh.
So, let’s go through a listen and repeat exercise, guys, and then we’ll finish up. So, listen and repeat after me, guys. This is a chance for you to practice your pronunciation. Let’s go.
Listen & Repeat:
To bag someone
To bag on someone.
To bag on someone
To bag someone out.
To bag someone
To bag on someone
To bag someone out.
I’m always bagging her out
You’re always bagging her out
He is always bagging her out
She’s always bagging her out
We’re always bagging her out
They’re always bagging her out
It’s always bagging her out
Good job, guys. Good job. Remember, in The Aussie English Classroom today’s expression episode will come as a course. You will receive a listening comprehension quiz, a vocab list, and then several videos that will cover things like this pronunciation exercise in depth so you’ll better understand my pronunciation as an Australian, the connected speech, the intonation, everything like that, and then other videos going over common expressions that are in this episode and common or more complicated vocab so the interesting vocab, I pull out a few words, and I love making 5 or 10 minute video describing how I would use those.
So, if you’re the kind of person who likes watching videos, likes hearing examples, enjoys the way that I tell stories in order to explain how to use English, these videos will really help you. So, make sure that you sign up to the Aussie English Classroom at TheAussieEnglishClassroom.com, link’s in the transcript and give it a go. Remember, it’s a buck, it’s a dollar for your first month.
Anyway, I have one little story that I wanted to tell you guys about when I was at high school, ’cause I used to get bagged out, I used to get paid out all the time. So, when I was in high school, right, we had to do sports. It was compulsory that we played a sport every season, normally winter and summer seasons, for our school.
So, I used to do two sports. I used to do soccer and I used to do tennis, and obviously, there were other sports at the school, you know, sports like swimming or footy or cricket, but I preferred soccer and tennis, and I also did fencing, okay? Fencing is where you sword fight except it’s more…, nowadays, it’s, as a sport, it’s more that you have a wire that you hit each other with or you try and press the button on the end of a wire in order to score points.
So, I used to get paid out or I used to get bagged out for doing soccer by all the boys who did footy, because footy was seen as much more masculine, much more manly. So, soccer kids used to get paid out. They used to get banged. And everyone used to bag me for doing fencing, because this was seen as, I guess, very feminine. It wasn’t very manly. It wasn’t very physical in the sense that you would come into contact with other kids. Instead you were sort of pressing a button on the end of a wire by touching another kid.
So, those were the kinds of things I used to get paid out for or bagged for when I was at high school. And I would love to know, guys, make sure that you comment below and let me know, what did you get bagged for when you were a kid at high school? We always have funny stories, okay. So, I would love to hear from you. Use your English and tell me, what were you bagged out for?
Anyway, guys, that is long enough for today. I hope you have an amazing week. Don’t forget to check out the Effortless Phrasal Verb course, and remember use the coupon code 21OFF to get that for just $89 instead of $110. The link will be in the transcript as well.
I’ll see you guys next week. Have a good one.