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Mixed bag

  • Mixed bag is an idiom. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase, or phrasal verbs that have a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. These figures of speech often use descriptive imagery, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often colloquialisms or descriptors that are spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase or expression that has a literal meaning, even when the etymology or origin of the idiomatic expression is lost. An idiom is a metaphorical figure of speech, and it is understood that it is not a use of literal language. Figures of speech have definitions and connotations that go beyond the literal meaning of the words. Mastery of the turn of phrase of an idiom or other parts of speech is essential for the English learner. Many English as a Second Language students do not understand idiomatic expressions that native speakers understand such as in a blue moon, spill the beans, let the cat out of the bag, chin up, eye to eye, barking up the wrong tree, bite the bullet, beat a dead horse, hit the nail on the head, kicked the bucket, blow off steam, jump on the bandwagon, piece of cake, hit the sack, and raining cats and dogs, as they attempt to translate them word for word, which yields only the literal meaning. In addition to learning vocabulary and grammar, one must understand the phrasing of the figurative language of idiomatic phrases in order to know English like a native speaker. It is possible to memorize a list of idioms, but it may be easier to pay attention to the use of idioms in everyday speech, where peculiar imagery will tell you that the expressions should not be taken literally. We will examine the meaning of the idiomatic phrase mixed bag, where it came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.


     

    A mixed bag describes a set of items or a situation that consists of a random assortment. A mixed bag usually contains positive and negative aspects, items that are unrelated or only tangentially related, or items that must be dealt with in different ways. The term mixed bag is an idiom that came into use around the turn of the twentieth century and is derived from a hunting term. The hunting term mixed bag refers to an assortment of bird species killed in one hunting session and put together in the same hunting bag. The plural form of mixed bag is mixed bags.

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    Examples

    Citing local weather forecasts, he expected a “mixed bag” Monday, with clouds delivering darker conditions along the western side of the Cascades. (The Baltimore Sun)

    Even Topol, the author of “Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again,” acknowledges that many AI products are little more than hot air. “It’s a mixed bag,” he said. (Scientific American)

    The answer is probably a bit of a mixed bag but the reality is we all live digital lives whether we want to or not. (Forbes Magazine)


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