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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
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.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

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.
See also: pass, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
I agree that there is a tendency to pass the buck on but something needs to be done to curb this.
Plaid Cymru's Carrie Harper hit back: "Given the crisis in the NHS in England, with cancelled operations, increased waiting lists, junior doctors striking and creeping privatisation, I'm not surprised that this Tory would want to try to pass the buck and blame someone else.
HRI money used to pay massive debt AS usual Calderdale CCG and Huddersfield CCG try to pass the buck.
The company can no longer try to pass the buck of tax responsibility to drivers by pretending they are self-employed."
SIALKOT -- Defence Minister Khawaja Muhamaad Asif has said India wants to pass the buck to Pakistan for its internal failures as it has been witnessing as many as 36 movement of insurgency.Speaking to media on Sunday, the minister said without any investigation Indian links every issue to Pakistan.
All the councillors are supposed to be learned people so why are you trying to pass the buck to another outside body.
"They got labelled a long-ball team by Arsenal, maybe a couple of their players wanted to pass the buck to us but I wouldn't know what a long-ball team was."
He likes to pass the buck, forwarding issues from his Witney constituents to a Government Minister for reply.
However, he argued that it is not fair to pass the buck onto Pakistan.
It is actually rather immature how the Government is trying to pass the buck onto local councils.
The study also found that as well as being willing to pass the buck on to younger generations, many over 50s were planning on not leaving an inheritance.
For the NHS, which created the problem, to pass the buck to Merseytravel, does not look like joinedup public policy making.
Saturday's 1-0 loss at Everton leaves Southampton one from bottom in the Premiership and after hounding out Sturrock after just two matches this term, Lowe tried to pass the buck. He said: 'It was a mistake for us and a mistake for him.
The attempt to pass the buck (or, more appropriately, the collection plate) to the taxpayer amounts to government support, promotion and advocacy of a specific religious view.