hold the bag

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hold the bag

To have responsibility or guilt for something foisted upon oneself; to take the blame for something. My partner had been cooking the books for years, but I was left holding the bag when the business collapsed.
See also: bag, hold

hold the bag

Informal
1. To be left with empty hands.
2. To be forced to assume total responsibility when it ought to have been shared.
See also: bag, hold