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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

  (British informal)
an activity that will not make you happy or successful
Usage notes: A mug is a person who is easily deceived.
Working for a big company is a mug's game - if you want to make money you need to start your own business.
See also: game


1. n. the face. (Crude.) Wipe that smile off your mug!
2. n. a thug; a goon. (Underworld.) Call off your mugs. I’ll come peacefully.
3. tv. to attack and rob someone. Somebody jumped out of an alley and tried to mug me.

mug shot

n. a photograph of one’s face taken for police records. (Underworld.) I’m going to have to ask you to come down to the station and go through some mug shots.
See also: mug, shot