a mug's game

mug's game

An endeavor or activity that is a futile waste of one's time, energy, or resources. Primarily heard in UK. Don't you know that playing the lottery is a mug's game? Just a big waste of money if you ask me. It's important to plan ahead, but basing your decisions now on how your life might look five years from now is a mug's game.
See also: game
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
THEY say that getting into politics is a mug's game.