pass the buck

pass the buck


  • passing blame to another person
  • shift the responsibility for something to someone else
  • appoint someone else to be in charge of something
  • hold someone accountable for a situation that has to be addressed
  • blame somebody or to make others responsible for a problem that you should deal with yourself

Example Sentences

  1. That particular supervisor tends to pass the buck of all light duties to newly hired interns.
  2. Whenever she has a new house help, she always takes time to know and train her before passing the buck.
  3. Upon realizing the number of assignments given to him, the class representative passed the buck to the other group leaders.
  4. Although it was hard for everyone, including himself, the Vice-chancellor had no choice but to pass the buck to the deputy vice-chancellor.
  5. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the restaurants in Sydney have been forced to cut down their staff and pass the buck to a few remaining employees.
  6. Teacher in Indian government schools often passes the buck to students when the result is too poor, and most students failed in exams.


Passing the buck is a slang expression with roots in poker in the Wild West.

A marker, mostly a knife with a handle made of buckhorn, was used to determine which of the players would deal with the cards. Occasionally, the player wouldn’t want to do it and was allowed to pass the role to the next player, which came to be known as “passing the buck”.

See also: the buck stops here

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Idiom of the Day

born with a silver spoon in mouth

Meaning: to be born to parents who are rich and have a good social rank

Example: He has never worked hard for anything because he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. His parents brought everything to him instead. Read on


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