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handbag

[hand-bag] /ˈhændˌbæg/
noun
1.
a bag or box of leather, fabric, plastic, or the like, held in the hand or carried by means of a handle or strap, commonly used by women for holding money, toilet articles, small purchases, etc.
2.
Origin
1860-1865
1860-65; hand + bag
Can be confused
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for handbags

handbags

/ˈhændˌbæɡz/
plural noun
1.
(facetious) an incident in which people, esp sportsmen, fight or threaten to fight, but without real intent to inflict harm (esp in the phrases handbags at dawn, handbags at twenty paces, etc)

handbag

/ˈhændˌbæɡ/
noun
1.
Also called bag, (US and Canadian) purse, (chiefly US) pocketbook. a woman's small bag carried to contain personal articles
2.
a small suitcase that can be carried by hand
3.
a commercial style of House music
Word Origin
(for sense 3) C20: humorous allusion to the trend for groups of women to dance round their handbags in discos, nightclubs, etc
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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Contemporary definitions for handbags
plural noun

a harmless altercation; trouble; also called handbag situation

Examples

When they discover we've spent the Christmas savings, it's going to be handbags.

Word Origin

abbr. of handbags at dawn

Usage Note

British slang

Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014 Dictionary.com, LLC
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Word Origin and History for handbags

handbag

n.

also hand-bag, 1854, from hand (n.) + bag (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Word Value for handbags

15
17
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