One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Withdraw petulantly from an activity after having suffered a setback.‘he's now picking up his marbles and going home because his political career is in tatters’
- ‘I would hope he would recognize that this is not an appropriate location, pick up his marbles and go home, but we've long since given up hope on that.’
- ‘And when he does not get his way threatens to pick up his marbles and go home.’
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