pass the buck


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pass the buck

To shift or reassign the blame or responsibility (for something) to another person, group, or thing. Politicians have two skills: making empty promises and then passing the buck when they fail to deliver on them. Maybe instead of passing the buck, you should have a think about what you could be doing to improve your performance.
See also: buck, pass

pass the buck

Fig. to pass the blame (to someone else); to give the responsibility (to someone else). (See also The buck stops here.) Don't try to pass the buck! It's your fault, and everybody knows it. Some people try to pass the buck whenever they can.
See also: buck, pass

pass the buck

Shift responsibility or blame elsewhere, as in She's always passing the buck to her staff; it's time she accepted the blame herself. This expression dates from the mid-1800s, when in a poker game a piece of buckshot or another object was passed around to remind a player that he was the next dealer. It acquired its present meaning by about 1900.
See also: buck, pass

pass the buck

COMMON If you accuse someone of passing the buck, you are accusing them of failing to take responsibility for a problem, and of expecting someone else to deal with it instead. Note: In poker, the buck was a marker or object which was passed to the person whose turn it was to deal the next hand. This person could either keep the marker or pass it on, in order to avoid dealing and being responsible for declaring the first stake. His three commanders-in-chief were arguing and passing the buck to one another. When it comes to teaching kids about risk, many parents are tempted to pass the buck to schools and other organizations. Note: This kind of behaviour is called buck-passing. However, his apology, in this age of buck-passing and dodging, was frank and honest.
See also: buck, pass

pass the buck

shift the responsibility for something to someone else. informal
A buck is an object placed as a reminder in front of the person whose turn it is to deal in the game of poker.
1998 New York Review of Books The legislation left the main decisions to the individual states which may well pass the buck to the large cities where most of the problem is.
See also: buck, pass

ˌpass the ˈbuck

(informal) refuse to accept responsibility for a mistake, an accident, an important decision, etc. and try to get another person, organization, etc. to accept responsibility for it instead: The same thing happens after every disaster. All the officials involved just try to pass the buck. OPPOSITE: the buck stops here ▶ ˈbuck-passing noun: The public is tired of all this political buck-passing. They just want to know who was responsible for the decision.The buck is a small object in a poker game that is placed in front of the player whose turn it is to deal.
See also: buck, pass

pass the buck

tv. to shift the responsibility for something to someone else; to evade responsibility. (see also buckpasser.) Don’t pass the buck. Stand up and admit you were wrong.
See also: buck, pass

pass the buck, to

To evade responsibility by shifting it elsewhere. The term comes from nineteenth-century America, where in poker games a piece of buckshot or a knife with a buckhorn handle was passed around to indicate which player was to be the next dealer. By 1900 or so the term began to be used in the present sense of shifting responsibility. In 1949 President Harry S. Truman put a sign on his Oval Office desk saying, “The buck stops here,” thereby acknowledging that he would accept ultimate responsibility for all policies and actions.
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References in periodicals archive ?
He tried to pass the buck for his red card when the fault was his and his alone.
Labour health spokeswoman Liz McManus told the all- party Oireachtas Health Committee ministers must not pass the buck.
But a commander who launches an attack and fails because of faulty intelligence can't then turn around and try and pass the buck. He should accept responsibility for the failures as he was ultimately in command.
I MIGHT have sympathised with David Westwood had he not tried to pass the buck, blaming data protection laws for the failure to track Ian Huntley.
SNP justice spokeswoman Nicola Sturgeon said: "For the Scottish Executive to pass the buck to Westminster on a matter that is substantially devolved is an abdication of responsibility.
ONE THING that people seem to be forgetting in all this fuss about the possible terrorist invasion of the Royal party (avoiding the fact that it wasn't a terrorist, so this is all a fuss over nothing) is that if a terrorist group wanted to do it right, they would have crashed a plane into the party and not bothered sending in just one person, so to try and pass the buck onto one police officer for slipping up is a little unfair.
But Shadow Health Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "The Scottish Executive is yet again trying to pass the buck in the face of scandalously long waiting times.
TODAY the Mirror gives you a special Christmas present from Belfast City Airport called: Pass The Buck.
Now distraught victims of the smash that killed 31 people have accused both parties of trying to "pass the buck".
For example, it is not good enough to pass the buck to the Department of Social Security on the question of clawing back disability payments.
IF David Davies can pass the ball the way he can pass the buck, we may have found Paul Gascoigne's successor.