leave (one) holding the bag

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leave (one) holding the bag

To foist responsibility or guilt for something onto one; to blame one for something. Primarily heard in US. My partner had been cooking the books for years, and he left me holding the bag when the business collapsed.
See also: bag, holding, leave
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

leave someone holding the bag

 and leave someone holding the baby
Fig. to allow someone to take all the blame; to leave someone appearing to be guilty. They all ran off and left me holding the bag. It wasn't even my fault. It was all the mayor's fault, but he wasn't left holding the bag.
See also: bag, holding, leave
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

leave holding the bag

Abandon someone, force someone to bear the responsibility or blame. For example, Her friends said they were too busy to help with cleaning up, and left Lucy holding the bag . This expression is often put as be left holding the bag, as in When they quit the clean-up committee, Lucy was left holding the bag. This idiom grew out of the earlier give one the bag (to hold), which dates from about 1600 and alludes to being left with an empty bag while others have taken the valuable contents. Also see leave in the lurch.
See also: bag, holding, leave
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.
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References in periodicals archive ?
If you are in a pump and dump scam, that is right where the pumpers want you, and they are ready to leave you holding the bag. In short, it is best to never ignore your own gut feelings.
Partners cannot just leave you holding the bag for partnership liabilities.