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An extortion scheme in which the victim, typically a married male, is lured into a compromising situation by (usually) a woman, who, with the aid of a male accomplice in the role of a husband or partner, blackmails the victim for money under the threat of exposure or physical violence. Most likely refers to the blood sport "badger baiting," in which a badger is used as live bait to lure a dog into a pit fight. He was nearly bankrupted after he fell victim to a badger game.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
An extortion scheme in which a man is lured into a compromising position, usually by a woman, and then is "discovered" and blackmailed by her associate. For example, The prosecutor accused the couple of playing the badger game. The term alludes to the much older sport of badger-baiting, in which a live badger was trapped and put inside a box and dogs were set on it to drag it out. The woman in the scheme is the "badger." [Late 1800s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.