Hi Judge Brybe
The Free Dictionary has the following entry under "Idioms":
hold the bag - definition of hold the bag by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.
hold the bag Informal
1. To be left with empty hands.
2. To be forced to assume total responsibility when it ought to have been shared.
As an informal term, it could mean whatever the user intends it to mean at the time, with the most regularly accepted versions being picked up by dictionaries.
In this case, the first version suggests that the bag is empty
The second version is close to the related term "carry the can"
Hope this helps
- For Teachers