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Related to pawn: Pawn shop
Having been pawned; in hock. He found himself in such dire straits that even his beloved pocket watch, given to him by his late grandfather, was now in pawn.
See also: pawn
pawn (something) off (on one) (as something else)
To discard something unwanted by giving or selling it to one (under the pretense of it being something else). There are always guys pawning off cheap watches as Rolexes in this part of town. She tried to pawn off the crummy assignment on me as some kind of special challenge.
1. To deposit something to a pawnbroker as security for a financial loan. (In each usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "pawn" and "off.") I was forced to pawn off my car in order to pay my rent for the month. I couldn't bear the thought of pawning my jewelry off, but I was left with no other alternative.
2. To shift the burden of or responsibility for someone or something to another person or group. He always tries to pawn off the most tedious tasks on me just because I have slightly less experience in the company than him. I used to feel guilty about pawning my kids off to a daycare center during the week, but they love playing with the other kids, and it gave me the chance to get my career back on track.
3. To discard something unwanted by giving or selling it to someone else under false pretenses or by using other deceptive means. Often followed by "on." There are always guys pawning off cheap watches as Rolexes in this part of town. She tried to pawn off the crummy assignment on me as some kind of special challenge.
4. To misrepresent someone or oneself as being a different person from who they actually are. Often followed by "as." The movie revolves around her scheme of pawning off her lifelong friend as her husband during work events. The man was caught pawning himself off as his dead twin brother in order to collect social welfare payments in his name.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
palm someone or something off (on someone) (as someone or something)and pass someone or something off (on someone) (as someone or something); pawn someone or something off (on someone) (as someone or something)
Fig. to give someone or something to someone as a gift that appears to be someone or something desirable. (As if the gift had been concealed in one's palm until it was gotten rid of.) Are you trying to palm that annoying client off on me as a hot prospect? Don't palm off that pest on me. Please don't pass that problem off on me as a challenge. Don't pass it off on me! Don't pawn it off on me as something of value.
pawn someone or something off
(on someone) (as someone or something) Go to palm someone or something off (on someone) (as someone or something).
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Pass off by deception, substitute with intent to deceive, as in The salesman tried to palm off a zircon as a diamond, or The producer tried to palm her off as a star from the Metropolitan Opera. This expression alludes to concealing something in the palm of one's hand. It replaced the earlier palm on in the early 1800s.
Dispose of by deception, as in They tried to pawn off a rebuilt computer as new. This expression may have originated as a corruption of palm off, although it was also put as pawn upon in the 1700s, when it originated.
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.
To get rid of or dispose of something by fraud or deception; fob off: The crooked merchant palmed off a lot of fake diamonds before being caught. Someone tried to palm some old coins off on me yesterday, saying they were rare and valuable.
To get rid of or dispose of something deceptively by misrepresenting its true value: The clerk tried to pawn off the fake gemstone as a diamond. They almost pawned the counterfeit bills off on unsuspecting tourists.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.