to pass the buck

Idiom Definition

"to pass the buck"

to avoid taking responsibility or blame by passing the responsibility or blame to someone else

Idiom Definition - to pass the buck


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - to pass the buck

Two roommates are talking about their other roommate, Susan ...

Roommate 1:  What's the matter with Susan?  She is always making mistakes but she won't admit to her mistakes.  She always wants to blame someone or something else for the problems.

Roommate 2:  I know!  Just the other day I came home and the kitchen was a mess.  I asked Susan why she hadn't cleaned up the kitchen.  She told me that Fred made the mess.  I knew that Fred hadn't been home that day.  I knew that it was Susan who made the mess.

Roommate 1:  That's just Susan's way.  She's always passing the buck to someone else.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - to pass the buck

A supervisor is talking to one of his workers who has just arrived late ....

Supervisor:  Why are you late, again?  What happened this time?

Worker:  It isn't my fault.  My car broke down on the way to work.

Supervisor:  Remind me of your excuse the last time you were late.

Worker:  That wasn't my fault either.  The power went out over night and my alarm clock didn't work.

Supervisor:  And the time before that?

Worker:  That wasn't my fault either.  Someone blocked my car in the parking lot and I couldn't get it out.

Supervisor:  Seems to me that you are always passing the buck.

to pass the buck - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   791   click for frequency by country

to pass the buck - Gerund Form:

Passing the buck could be considered lazy.

to pass the buck - Examples:

1)  I pass the buck when I don't think it is my area of responsibility.

2)  You pass the buck when you are too tired to take care of the issue.

3)  He passes the buck and sends them to their mother when his kids ask him for things.

4)  She passes the buck because she is afraid to make a decision.

5)  The government passes the buck on environmental issues to big business.

6)  We pass the buck when we want to blame someone else.

7)  You (all) pass the buck because it has become a habit.

8)  They pass the buck when they simply don't know what to do.

9)  Then there is the game of pass the buck played to find out who will take care of the repair/replacement.

10)  I bet your position will be to pass the buck to the local municipality and let it take the heat for the decision.

11)  The minute we pass the buck to government, we disempower ourselves both at national and local level.

12)  Al's gone so pass the buck to the new man in charge.

13)  I'm getting really sick and tired of people passing the buck on education to media.

14) We've insisted on passing the buck and avoiding tough decisions. 

15)  I am not passing the buck, it is a Treasury matter.

16)  This is more about messaging or passing the buck than it is about helping anybody or preventing an economic calamity.

17)  The Associated Press reports that five governments have passed the buck on passing a law to comply with the high court's ruling.

18)  Better safe than sorry! So they passed the buck straight to the top.

19)  Nobody passed the buck of debt onto the next generation better than the last government.

20)  They passed the buck to municipalities and dodged responsibility to the citizens of this state.