pass the buck
shift the responsibility for something to someone else – informal
A buck is an object placed as a reminder in front of the person whose turn it is to deal in the game of poker.
1998 - New York Review of Books – The legislation left the main decisions to the individual states which may well pass the buck to the large cities where most of the problem is.
Related Idioms and Phrases :
bear the brunt of
be the person to suffer the most (as the result of an attack, misfortune, etc.).
The origin of brunt is unknown and may be onomatopoeic. The sense has evolved from the specific (a sharp or heavy blow) to the more general (the shock or violence of an attack).
burst his bubble
shatter someone's illusions about something or destroy their sense of well-being.
on the bubble
(of a sports player or team) occupying the last qualifying position in a team or for a tournament and liable to be replaced by another - North American informal
This expression comes from sit on the bubble
with the implication that the bubble may burst.
the buck stops here = the buck stops with someone
the responsibility for something cannot or should not be passed to someone else – Informal
Famously, the buck stops
here was the wording of a sign on the desk of US President Harry S.Truman. Compare with pass the buck below.
buck up your ideas
make more effort
become more energetic and hardworking – informal
Buck here refers to the lively action of a horse jumping with all its feet together and its back arched. Buck up in its modern senses of cheer up and hurry up
is first found in late 19th-century school slang.
make a fast buck
earn money easily and quickly – informal
a drop in a bucket
a very small amount compared with what is needed or expected
1995 - Ian Rankin - Let It Bleed - A few million was a drop in the ocean, hardly a ripple…
kick the bucket
die – informal
The bucket in this phrase may be a pail on which a person committing suicide might stand, kicking it away before they hanged themselves. Another suggestion is that it refers to a beam on which something can be hung up…in Norfolk dialect the beam from which a slaughtered pig was suspended by its heels could be referred to as a bucket.
a forlorn hope
no chance at all - Australian & New Zealand informal
This phrase is often shortened simply to Buckley's. Who or what Buckley was remains uncertain…the name is sometimes said to refer to William Buckley, a convict transported to Australia in 1802 who escaped and lived with the Aborigines for many years, despite dire predictions as to his chances of survival.
1948 - Vance Palmer - Golconda - Buckley's chance we have of getting our price if we're left to face the companies alone.
pass the buck :
pass the buck To HOME PAGE
Idioms Index – Previous Page