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ditty bag

a small bag used especially by sailors to hold sewing implements, toiletries, etc.
Origin of ditty bag
1855-60; of obscure origin Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for ditty-bag
Historical Examples
  • A rather hyperbolic phrase for a sailor's overhauling his ditty-bag at a leisure moment, and restowing his little hoard.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
British Dictionary definitions for ditty-bag

ditty bag

a sailor's cloth bag for personal belongings or tools. A box used for these purposes is termed a ditty box
Word Origin
C19: perhaps from obsolete dutty calico, from Hindi dhōtī loincloth, dhoti
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ditty-bag

ditty bag


1850s nautical slang, perhaps from British naval phrase commodity bag.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for ditty-bag

ditty bag

noun phrase

A small bag for one's personal belongings, usually exclusive of clothing

[1850s+ Nautical; origin uncertain; perhaps short for commodity, fr the earlier British naval term commodity box, which became ditty box]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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