mid-15c., "portable equipment of an army; plunder, loot," from Old French bagage "baggage, (military) equipment" (14c.), from bague "pack, bundle, sack," probably ultimately from the same Scandinavian source that yielded bag (n.). Later used of the bags, trunks, packages, etc., of a traveler (in this sense British English historically prefers luggage). Baggage-smasher (1847) was American English slang for "railway porter."
Used disparagingly, "worthless woman, strumpet" from 1590s; sometimes also playfully, "saucy or flirtatious woman" (1670s). Emotional baggage "detrimental unresolved feelings and issues from past experiences" is attested by 1957.
updated on August 17, 2019