- \ \  A satchel is etymologically a ‘small sack’ or bag. The word comes via Old French sachel from Latin saccellus, a diminutive form of saccus ‘bag’ (source of English sack). Its specific application to a ‘bag for carrying school books’ emerged in the mid 16th century, and is reflected by Shakespeare in Jaques’s ‘Seven ages of man’ speech in As You Like It 1600: ‘And then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel and shining morning face, creeping like snail unwillingly to school’.\ \ Cf.⇒ SACHET, SACK
Word origins - 2ed. J. Ayto. 2005.