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Pass the buck

Created date

April 6th, 2010

In the days of the Wild West, cowboys drew many a Colt revolver over suspicions of cheating at the poker table. As a way to help minimize these suspicions and the number of bullets flying through the room, it became common practice to switch dealers. It was your turn to deal when your neighbor passed you the buck (a buckhorn knife)--the standard marker indicating the man in charge of the cards. Today, we use this phrase to refer to the general passage of responsibility or blame. When things go wrong, people sometimes pass the buck.