What does ‘Pass the buck’ mean?

shifting your responsibility to somebody else

American slang


But hating the media is how many Republicans pass the buck.

Burke pondered the idea for the briefest of moments then with an equally hearty chuckle passed the buck.


This phrase took its birth from poker and its old and no longer used tradition to pass a knife made of the buck’s horn. When a player decided not to deal, he could pass his buck to another player. And that is how the expression appeared.

By the way, poker has given rise to another popular game slang usually called “poker talk”. For instance, the word “Benjamin” does not refer to the name of a famous poker player but a 100-dollar bill. And “ Dead Man Hand” has nothing to do with a cheater exposed during the game. It is the hand of cards like blake eights and black aces.