be left holding the bag

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be left holding the bag

To have responsibility or guilt for something foisted upon oneself; to take the blame for something. Primarily heard in US. My partner had been cooking the books for years, but I was left holding the bag when the business collapsed.
See also: bag, holding, left

be left holding the bag

AMERICAN, INFORMAL
If you are left holding the bag, you are made responsible for a problem that nobody else wants to deal with. If a project goes bust, investors are left holding the bag. And then he made another deal, and they were left holding the bag. Note: The usual British expression is be left holding the baby.
See also: bag, holding, left
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