Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

pass the buck

pass the buck
Meaning(s)
1) shift blame for something onto someone else
  • How to MemorizePopularity HighProfessional HighSocial
    • pass the buck onto someone else
  • Analysis
     The idiom 'to pass the buck' means to pass the responsibility for something to somebody else or to expect someone else to deal with your problems. If you 'pass the buck' you refuse to accept responsibility for something or claim that someone else is responsible. Similar in meaning to 'cop-out' or 'dodge responsibility'. This expression is treated as a verb.
  • Social Examples (Basic)
    1. Sarah can never take responsibility for the mistakes she makes, or admit when she's wrong. Instead, she always looks to pass the buck.
    2. I am the one who is left to look after my elderly parents. My siblings moved abroad and passed the buck to me.
  • Professional Examples (Basic)
    1. Brian did most of the work on the project, but when it all went wrong he passed the buck onto me. I can't believe how quick he was to use me as a scapegoat!
    2. After the low sales numbers came out, the manager scolded her staff. It was obvious to all that she was just passing the buck to try and cover her own poor performance.
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