mug's game


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mug's game

A task or activity that is foolish, dangerous, or will not result in a positive outcome. Primarily heard in UK. Allowing your children to play with fireworks is a mug's game. They are bound to get injured.
See also: game

a mug's game

an activity which it is stupid to engage in because it is likely to be unsuccessful or dangerous. informal
Mug was mid 19th-century slang for a fool, in particular someone who has been duped by a card sharper or criminal. Mug's game appeared in the early 20th century and has been applied to a wide variety of activities, especially horse racing and betting on horses.
1992 Economist From the way many western businessmen talk, you would think investing in eastern Germany was a mug's game.
See also: game