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This week, languagecaster.com introduces the English for football phrase ‘to be in the bag‘. You can understand more about this phrase by reading the transcript below. The list of weekly football phrases from 2007-08 can be found here. You can also find many more examples of soccer vocabulary by going to our football cliches page here and our huge football glossary here.
In the bag means to be secure, to be safe. So if a title is in the bag it means we think there is no way a team can lose the title, they are certain to win. The origins or roots, of this meaning lie in another sport – baseball. At the start of the 20th century, the Giants were on a historic winning run and if they were leading in the ninth innings, the end of the game, they superstitiously carried the bag of balls off the field – the balls were in the bag and the Giants hoped the game was won. If we look around the leagues in Europe as the season comes to an end, the title is in the bag for Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, and it looks like it’s in the bag for Manchester United in England. In the bag.