to leave someone holding the bag

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - leave someone holding the bag

"to leave someone holding the bag"

to make someone else take all of the responsibility;

to allow someone else to take all the blame


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - leave someone holding the bag

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1: That is a very risky proposal to make. Are you going to take part of the responsibility when we present it to the board of directors?

Colleague 2: Of course. We both came up with the idea and we will both be equally to blame if the board hates the idea.

Colleague 1: Good. Because there is no way I want to be left holding the bag on such a risky and dangerous proposal.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - leave someone holding the bag

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1: Alvin is asking his friends and family to invest in his new business idea.

Friend 2: That is all well and good but what happens if his business fails. It will leave all of his investors holding the bag when he can not repay the loans.

Friend 1: I agree. It would be a risk so I am only willing to lend Alvin money that would not severely affect me if I lost it.

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to leave someone holding the bag - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   155   click for frequency by country

to leave someone holding the bag - Gerund Form:

Leaving your friend holding the bag even though you were partly responsible shows poor character.

to leave someone holding the bag - Examples:

1)  Ms. Weymouth felt that her handpicked editor had left her holding the bag and began doubting his loyalty. The rift never healed. 

2)  When the bubble burst, the banks were left holding the bag (a huge mortgage book). The bag was so heavy, in fact ,,,

3)  ... who are heavily mortgaged or locked into inflexible retirement accounts may be left holding the bag

4)  The bankers are happy and love getting rich from all the suckers left holding the bag. I currently live on a net of $15 K annually.

5)  However, if Blanger-Campeau gets its way, Canada would be left holding the bag for billions of dollars in loans to Quebec individuals and corporations extended by federal government ...

6)  ... who paid money to be at the show and those who are left holding the bag for ticket sales and extra product that they wouldn't have otherwise purchased ...

7)  If they can't, it'll be CMHC that's left holding the bag, covering mortgages that go under. 

8)  ... was coming anyway, it would be better if the PQ was left holding the bag when the peak of the meltdown happens.

9)  ... had been signed at the outset, the processor could now be left holding the bag with only half the MRF paid off.

10)  We will work with them and try to ensure they are not left holding the bag

11)  It was too much to deal with, they all ran away screaming. "They left me holding the bag," Kevin said.

12)  The public must never again be left holding the bag for Wall Street giants.

13)  The politicians are in bed with public unions and the taxpayers are left holding the bag

14)  ... are deceived into buying things they can not afford, and then left holding the bag when times get tough.

15)  The consultant is happy, you are left holding the bag with a hole (where the $200 grand was).

16)  XYZ has a huge potential to make money and Treasury is left holding the bag for the $30m that doesn't pay off.

17)  ... are the unscrupulous people who hire illegal immigrants. Taxpayers are left holding the bag. Ultimately, it is they who must pay to support all the Americans who ...

18)  Because my hands are empty in these respects, I'm left holding the bag of a love that has nothing obviously remarkable to show for itself.

19)  ... just stiffing them and walking away from it -- and they were left holding the bag.

20)  ... this fiasco where you stole, lied, cheated, and left everyone holding the bag to deal with the mess you created?