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Hi this is Tutor Nick P and this is Word Origins 54. The word origins today is to pass
the buck. So we're covering an idiom word origin. Okay. Let's look at the note here.
The idiom to pass the buck means to shift. Shift means change the blame for
something to another person or past work or task on to others. So maybe you were
assigned it than you're giving your work to somebody else , especially a
subordinate. Maybe somebody who's below you. All right. Let's continue.
Basically to reassign the responsibility for tasks to another person. Let's
continue. The origin of the phrase goes all the way back to the second half of
the 19th century when poker became popular. Yes. It was probably like
during the cowboy days , especially out west. In order to reduce the capability
of players to cheat, the deal past hands. It means so if you're the person who's you
know shuffling the cards the next hand that goes to the next person going
around the table. Okay. So in order to reduce the capability of players to
cheat the deal passed hands around the table. So each player took turns at being
the dealer. Each hand this responsibility, responsibility was passed to the next
player. The person whose turn it was to deal was often given a knife to mark it
was his turn. This knife usually had a handle made of buck horn. So here's where
the buck actually comes in. . It's not about a dollar bill. It's about you know the
animal. You know, the buck. So the buck horn therefore they were passing the
buck. So that's where pass the buck this phrase actually came from. All right. Let's
continue. Some people believe the idea of blame was added because you know, first
it was more like just responsibility. Some people
believe the idea of blame was added after Harry and Truman, remember the
president. I think I actually did a video of this quote. That he had you know, "the
buck stops here." Okay. He became famous for his quote the buck stops here. Meaning
that the responsibility and the blame will be taken for one's own actions. Because
you know, even in politics a lot of times, they like to pass the blame onto
somebody else. So they are saying no the buck stops here. We did this. If it doesn't
work you can criticize us or blame us. The buck stops here. So it sounds like
somebody who's more responsible. They're actually taking you know, you know , taking
the credit in case well one it's good but also if it's if it fails. Okay.
He will usually pass the buck on to someone else.
All right. So , so let's continue here. Let's look at these examples. James will never
admit if he is to blame, he will usually pass the buck on to
someone else. All right. So this is just the way that we use the phrase today or
number two. My manager will often give his dirty work you know, these are the
unpleasant tasks or unpleasant jobs. He just passed the buck to me. So again, this
is ... this is a case where you're passing work on to someone else. Okay.
Anyway, I hope you got it. I hope it was formative. Thank you for your time.
Bye-bye.
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English Tutor Nick P Word Origins (54) Pass the Buck

48 Folder Collection
anitawu12 published on July 10, 2019
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