- carry the can
- to receive undeserved punishment while the culprit goes freeSome authorities suggest that the can contained beer. Common use in the First World War suggests that it was more likely to have carried food prepared behind the lines for those in the trenches. The full version carry the can back may have referred rather to the unpleasant and dangerous duty of taking the can1, with its malodorous cargo of urine and faeces, back to the rear from the trenches; and see rears. The phrase is also used of a guilty person singled out or available for punishment among several miscreants:... whoever inflicted that fatal wound has not been brought to justice... you alone stand to carry the can. (Daily Telegraph, 1 November 1995)See also as take the can back.
How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms. R. W. Holder. 2014.
Look at other dictionaries:
carry the can — If you carry the can, you take the blame for something, even though you didn t do it or are only partly at fault … The small dictionary of idiomes
carry the can — ► carry the can Brit. informal take responsibility for a mistake or misdeed. Main Entry: ↑carry … English terms dictionary
carry the can — phrasal chiefly Britain : to bear alone and in full an often hazardous responsibility * * * carry the can (slang) To take the blame or responsibility • • • Main Entry: ↑can carry the can To accept responsibility for a misdemeanour or error • • •… … Useful english dictionary
carry the can — If you carry the can, you take the blame for something, even though you didn t do it or are only partly at fault. (Dorking School Dictionary) *** If you carry the can for another person, you accept blame or take responsibility for… … English Idioms & idiomatic expressions
carry the can — British & Australian to take the blame or responsibility for something that is wrong or has not succeeded. She suspected that she d be left to carry the can for her boss s mistakes. (often + for) … New idioms dictionary
Carry the can — If you carry the can, you take the blame for something, even though you didn t do it or are only partly at fault … Dictionary of English idioms
carry the can — verb To take responsibility, especially in a challenging situation. For Vajpayee, who is keen that he alone does not carry the can for his unwieldy alliance, it is a tough decision … Wiktionary
carry the can — be responsible, see that the job gets done The manager gets a big salary, but Mario carries the can … English idioms
carry the can — Vrb phrs. To take responsibility for a mistake. E.g. I m not carrying the can for your inability to control your kids. Informal … English slang and colloquialisms
Carry the can — do the dirty work; bear the responsibility; take the blame … Dictionary of Australian slang