three bags full

Also found in: Acronyms.

three bags full, sir

Used to sarcastically characterize someone who obsequiously accepts any order or demand, no matter how unwise or unreasonable. It's never wise to surround yourself with subordinates whose only contribution to your ideas is "three bags full, sir." You need people who will challenge you to think or act in ways you hadn't considered.
See also: bag, sir, three

(yes sir, no sir) three bags ˈfull (sir)

(old-fashioned, humorous) said when you agree to do something that somebody asks you but think that they are rather rude or unreasonable: Our new manager doesn’t want to hear our opinions, all he wants is, ‘Yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir.’This phrase is from the nursery rhyme, ‘Baa, baa, black sheep’.
See also: bag, full, three
References in classic literature ?
I got on board the ship as before, and prepared a second raft; and, having had experience of the first, I neither made this so unwieldy, nor loaded it so hard, but yet I brought away several things very useful to me; as first, in the carpenters stores I found two or three bags full of nails and spikes, a great screw- jack, a dozen or two of hatchets, and, above all, that most useful thing called a grindstone.
We recovered three bags full of arms, which they had hidden under their feet," he said.
His novel You Too (1924) satirized advertising, and among his other novels are High Thursday (1928) and Three Bags Full (1936).
What I don't like, and what I've never had in my career, are people who just say, 'Yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir'.
The model, who is infamous for bedding footballer Ryan Giggs, is often gifted with clothes from the Debra boutique and on Tuesday she left with no less than three bags full of clothes.
If his evident assertiveness with his very own European partner is anything to go by, we may surely conclude that "yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir" is one of the better polished phrases in the four EU languages in which Mr Clegg prides himself in being fluent.
If I was expecting the 'Yes, Sir, No, Sir, three bags full, Sir' treatment I was soon disabused.
I lost my job because I wouldn't say yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir to them.
OUR search for new Scottish nursery rhymes is off to a good start - yes sir, yes sir, three bags full sir.
Attempting to trace the hot -water pipes, Mr Vickers-Fletcher pulled uppart of the floor in the house's extension and to his surprise found three bags full of underwear.
Jake, of Salendine Nook, filled three bags full of rubbish.
What they don't need are weak, lily-livered toadies who'll wipe their backsides, stroke their egos and say "Yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir" when they should be saying "No bloody way, sir".