I saw on the 2016 November's NEW SCIENTIST a sentence:

The capsule, containing hydrogen isotopes, sits in a spherical target chamber (pictured, top right). Its science-fiction looks bagged it the role of the warp core of the USS Enterprise in Star Trek: Into Darkness.

In this sentence, what does "bag" mean? Or is there any misspelling?

  • 1
    The metaphor is rather transparent and self-explanatory, even if you've not seen this usage of the word before. en.wiktionary.org/wiki/bag#Verb As to misspelling, the very first word is misspelled, yes. The rest are fine.
    – RegDwigнt
    Oct 20 '18 at 23:48
  • 1
    I am afraid it makes no sense to me, even if I correct "It's" to "Its" and "it" to "in". Maybe it's because I am not familiar with the referenced movie. Why don't you provide more context? Oct 21 '18 at 0:00
  • 1
    @RegDwigнt I have voted to reopen the question and look forward to reading your answer. Oct 21 '18 at 0:08
  • 1
    @michael.hor257k Right. So if we are looking at exactly one possible way to parse this, and that way makes perfect sense to boot, then what exactly is left of the question.
    – RegDwigнt
    Oct 21 '18 at 1:39
  • 1
    @RegDwigнt I wish to remain polite, so I'll just politely suggest that your attitude is inappropriate. It wasn't until I saw the actual picture that it occurred to me that looks is a noun here, not a verb. I am sure I wasn't the only one thrown off by this. Your summary dismissal of the issue as trivial is ... well, as I said, inappropriate. Oct 21 '18 at 3:24

The real problem with the given sentence is not the meaning of bagged, but the role of looks. The natural tendency is to read it as a verb - but then the rest of the sentence doesn't make sense, especially the immediately following word bagged.

Once you realize that looks here is a noun, and replace it with a synonym such as appearance, the sentence acquires a meaning - and so does the word bagged, which in this context means gained, acquired or earned:

Its science-fiction [appearance] [earned] it the role of the warp core of the USS Enterprise in Star Trek: Into Darkness.

  • In British English, if we attain something we have been striving for, we can say "it's in the bag", as well as that we have bagged it. Oct 21 '18 at 6:16
  • Thank you very much. At last I understood what the sentence has to say.
    – Hidechan
    Oct 21 '18 at 7:00
  • I think that perhaps when a hunter caught a small bird or animal it might be put in a bag to be carried home. Oct 21 '18 at 7:07
  • In British game hunting, a person's achievements each day are called his or her "bag". "I had a good day - my bag was ten pheasant, five grouse, and two hare." Perhaps confusingly, plural game animals are referred to using the singular noun. Oct 21 '18 at 7:40
  • 1
    There's a Wikipedia article that you could reference in your answer for more information about this type of problem: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden-path_sentence
    – MetaEd
    Oct 24 '18 at 15:18

'bagged' simply means 'got'. Another meaning (similar) would be to 'capture'.
For example: I bagged two birds during my hunt.

Here are some examples from dictionary.com:

verb (used with object), bagged, bag·ging.
to cause to swell or bulge; distend: The wind bagged the curtain.
to put into a bag.
Informal. to kill or catch, as in hunting: I bagged my first deer when I was a teenager.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.