Today I saw a sign on the train that said

Bag down for a better ride.

There was an accompanying picture of someone carrying a large bag on his back, possibly causing inconvenience to others:

Bag Down for a Better Ride

Initially, I thought it meant put less things in your bag, with bag used as a verb in the sign. Later on, I realised it meant put down your bag, with bag used as a noun instead. Can it really mean either thing?

  • 'Chin up' is an accepted and well known shortened form of 'Keep your chin up'. I can't find 'Bag down' used in stand-alone fashion, and certainly wouldn't use it myself. The thrust of the message is certainly 'Don't cause others / yourself inconvenience', but the particular meaning of a deletion is usually going to be uncertain. Perhaps here it's meant to be. Oct 1, 2014 at 14:40
  • I guess the picture is intended to make it clear. I'm not sure why you would interpret down to mean less. Obviously it would be clearer if it said "put your bag down", but short slogans are more pithy and fit on signs more easily.
    – Barmar
    Oct 1, 2014 at 16:35

1 Answer 1


Maybe it would mean either, had it not carried a picture with it. But with the picture in it, it is just so straight forward that putting your bag down makes commuting easier and definitely considerate too for fellow passengers.

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