mug's game


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

mug's game

A task or activity that is foolish, dangerous, or will not result in a positive outcome. Primarily heard in UK. Allowing your children to play with fireworks is a mug's game. They are bound to get injured.
See also: game

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
References in periodicals archive ?
He said: "I did A Mug's Game when I was 14, so I was well aware of Takin' Over The Asylum.
There'll be a long list of grumbles and complaints, tell you it's a mug's game and there's often a horror story or two about red tape and rising costs.
Not only is it foolish to bluff when opponents expect you to but, statistically, bluffing can be a mug's game, a fact known to the odd poker mentor for more than 80 years.
Machan rejects the propositions that generosity doesn't exist and that generosity is a mug's game.
And I know that having a go back at your own supporters is a mug's game - because you can't win.
Just goes to show that extrapolating from responses to surveys is a mug's game.
It is normally a mug's game to bet on wide-margin victories from favourites but in this instance City may well cut loose and score almost at will.
It will end in tears, eventually, but predicting the timing of the bursting of a bubble is a mug's game.
They would also say missing training just so you can take the field on a Saturday is a mug's game at their age and the only person who will lose out is the mug who does it.
But not only is it foolish to bluff when opponents expect you to, statistically, bluffing can be a mug's game, a fact which has been known to the odd poker mentor for more than eighty years.
He said: "As far as I am concerned, this is further proof that smoking is a mug's game that costs you a lot of money and takes 10 years of your life.
Now and then,I do the Lottery but it's a mug's game.
Prophesies are a mug's game, if utterly irresistible.
IF you want confirmation that predicting the future is a mug's game, just cast your mind back exactly 12 months.
The Government's little habit of printing money makes prudent saving a mug's game - and crazy borrowing positively sensible" - Film-maker Martin Durkin.