be left holding the baby

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Related to left holding the baby: left holding the bag

be left holding the baby

To be abandoned and burdened with the blame or responsibility of something; to be made to deal with something because no one else is willing to participate or be held accountable. The CEO vanished when the police started investigating our questionable investment activity, and I was left holding the baby! John and the boys decided to go to the bar when it came time to clean up after the party, so the other wives and I were left holding the baby.
See also: baby, holding, left
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

be left holding the baby

BRITISH
If you are left holding the baby, you are made responsible for a problem that nobody else wants to deal with. If anything goes wrong on this, Agnes, it's you and I who'll be left holding the baby. More often than he liked, Taylor was left holding the baby. Note: The usual American expression is be left holding the bag.
See also: baby, holding, left
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

be left holding the baby

be left with an unwelcome responsibility, often without warning.
A US variant of this expression is be left holding the bag .
See also: baby, holding, left
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
If it is a matter of getting sick leave, then other people in the office will roll out similar symptoms on a staggered basis, so that everyone gets a turn to be sick, but nobody actually gets left holding the baby on his or her own.
"Or if you're on paternity leave, perhaps make note that you've been left holding the baby. As long as you remember to include an alternative contact and the date you'll be back in the office, your clients and colleagues will appreciate that everyone is entitled to time off," Chandee said.
Sean and Marcus are left holding the baby when Violet falls ill.
This book is different to the normal story of teenage pregnancy as, in this case, the boy is left holding the baby as his ex-girlfriend cannot cope.
Casualty (BBC1, 8.45pm) Charlie is left holding the baby, literally tonight when Shona runs off leaving little Megan, along with a goodbye note and a bottle of milk, with her grandad.
Meanwhile, Ruth's new scheme to boost staff morale sets the team against each other and Charlie is, literally, left holding the baby - and is exhausted by a sleepless night of looking after his grand-daughter Megan.
Ladies-man Robbie is left holding the baby while the rest of the Taggart team - DI Matt Burke (Alex Norton), DC Jackie Reid (Blythe Duff) and DC Stuart Fraser (Colin McCredie) - investigate.
"No one wants to be left holding the baby on that date."
British armed forces chiefs are keen to resolve the uncertainty, with Bernard Jenkin, shadow defence secretary, saying failure to reach agreement would mean "we would be left holding the baby. There is little sign of an exit strategy.
"One of them backed out and in the end it's made me look stupid and left holding the baby.
The surprise announcement by Buckingham Palace yesterday raised the possibility of his wife Meghan, understood to be nearly a week overdue, being left holding the baby.
And you'd be the one left holding the baby if you did go through with the pregnancy.
EMMERDALE (ITV) KIRIN is left holding the baby when Vanessa falls ill and Carly is later horrified to find the stressed-out dad screaming in little Johnny's face.
KIRIN is left holding the baby when Vanessa falls ill, and Carly is later horrified to find the stressed-out dad screaming in little Johnny's face.