to carry the can

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - carry the can

"to carry the can"

to be the person who is considered responsible for something that has gone wrong


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - carry the can

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  I did all the work and did it well and then the boss went and made a mistake with the figures during the presentation.

Colleague 2:  What happened?

Colleague 1:  The boss got into trouble with his boss and then blamed me for the error.  I am always being blamed for whatever goes wrong around here.

Colleague 2:  Sucks being the one who has to carry the can.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - carry the can

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1:  You look sad. Are you in trouble again?

Friend 2:  Somehow a vase got broken at my house and my parents think it was me.

Friend 1:  Was it you?

Friend 2:  Actually, this time it wasn't me. I know I get into a lot of trouble but I really didn't break the vase.

Friend 1:  But you have to carry the can anyways?

Friend 2:  Looks that way.

to carry the can - Usage:


to carry the can - Gerund Form:

Carrying the can at work means I am always blamed for whatever goes wrong.

to carry the can - Examples:

1)  ... million tiny pieces on the tarmac at Vandenberg. Ultimately, NASA has to carry the can for this, because it's the second failure of the same kind ...

2)  ... with the Iraq war everyone knew that it would end in tears and Greenspan should carry the can for all the financial woes.

3)  ... but clearly felt that he was having to carry the can for the failings of others.

4)  Ultimately, playing without a striker is down to the manager who has to carry the can.

5)  We deserve the credit when we get it right and to carry the can when we get it wrong.

6)  Dean, the Labor government is still carrying the can for a number of Coalition policies which the Coalition never started or which ...

7)  The problem is, all these decent hard-working distinguished journalists are carrying the can for the sins of the previous regime. 

8)  they often leave a degree of chaos in their wake and someone else ends up carrying the can

9)  Cummings is carrying the can, not just for his own failings but for others.

10)  John is now carrying the can for their failings and being criticized.

11)  They're a dishonest way of dodging accountability, ensuring that no one ever carries the can for policies that take more than a couple of years to implement.

12)  I've always felt the goalkeeper carries the can for so many things, whether they are his fault or not.

13)  The master is the man or woman who carries the can and whose conduct falls under the spotlight after a disaster.

14)  ultimate failure of that ramshackle system, and its entirely appropriate that she carries the can for that.

15)  ... and others more directly responsible for some of the errors for which George Entwistle has carried the can will also have to be held to account.

16)  He carried the can for another a bungled Newsnight investigation into a senior political figure that relied ...

17)  ... balance of power status allow you to take credit for success but leave Labor to carry the can for failure?

18)  ... and then left carry the can for their male predecessors failures.

19)  ... the solution to the police crackdown by importing my client and others like him to carry the can; thus allowing the local criminals to get on with their other felonious ...

20)  The modern lawyer gets to carry the can for the basic difficulty of his/her craft.