fall guy

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fall guy

A scapegoat; someone who takes the "fall" (consequences) for someone else. The jurors didn't believe that Mike actually murdered the victim. They felt that he was set up by his brother as a fall guy.
See also: fall, guy

fall guy

1. A scapegoat, one who is blamed for the actions of others. For example, He refused to be the fall guy for his colleagues. This expression uses fall in the sense of "consequences" or "blame," which originated in prison slang. [Slang; early 1900s] Also see take the fall.
2. An easy victim, one who is readily duped. For example, His friends had marked him as the fall guy-they knew he would believe their ruse. [Slang; early 1900s]
See also: fall, guy

fall guy

n. a victim; a dupe; the guy who takes the fall. (Originally underworld.) I didn’t want to be the fall guy, so I sat out the last job.
See also: fall, guy