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buck4

[buhk] /bʌk/
noun
1.
Poker. any object in the pot that reminds the winner of some privilege or obligation when his or her turn to deal next comes.
verb (used with object)
2.
to pass (something) along to another, especially as a means of avoiding responsibility or blame:
He bucked the letter on to the assistant vice president to answer.
Idioms
3.
pass the buck, to shift responsibility or blame to another person:
Never one to admit error, he passed the buck to his subordinates.
Origin
1860-1865
1860-65; short for buckhorn knife, an object which served this function
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for pass the buck

buck1

/bʌk/
noun
1.
  1. the male of various animals including the goat, hare, kangaroo, rabbit, and reindeer
  2. (as modifier): a buck antelope
2.
(South African) an antelope or deer of either sex
3.
(US, informal) a young man
4.
(archaic) a robust spirited young man
5.
(archaic) a dandy; fop
6.
the act of bucking
verb
7.
(intransitive) (of a horse or other animal) to jump vertically, with legs stiff and back arched
8.
(transitive) (of a horse, etc) to throw (its rider) by bucking
9.
(informal, mainly US & Canadian) when intr, often foll by against. to resist or oppose obstinately: to buck against change, to buck change
10.
(transitive; usually passive) (informal) to cheer or encourage: I was very bucked at passing the exam
11.
(US & Canadian, informal) (esp of a car) to move forward jerkily; jolt
12.
(US & Canadian) to charge against (something) with the head down; butt
See also buck up
Derived Forms
bucker, noun
Word Origin
Old English bucca he-goat; related to Old Norse bukkr, Old High German bock, Old Irish bocc

buck2

/bʌk/
noun
1.
(US & Canadian, Austral, informal) a dollar
2.
(South African, informal) a rand
3.
a fast buck, easily gained money
4.
bang for one's buck, See bang1 (sense 15)
Word Origin
C19: of obscure origin

buck3

/bʌk/
noun
1.
(gymnastics) a type of vaulting horse
2.
(US & Canadian) a stand for timber during sawing Also called (in Britain and certain other countries) sawhorse
verb
3.
(transitive) (US & Canadian) to cut (a felled or fallen tree) into lengths
Word Origin
C19: short for sawbuck

buck4

/bʌk/
noun
1.
(poker) a marker in the jackpot to remind the winner of some obligation when his turn comes to deal
2.
(informal) pass the buck, to shift blame or responsibility onto another
3.
(informal) the buck stops here, the ultimate responsibility lies here
Word Origin
C19: probably from buckhorn knife, placed before a player in poker to indicate that he was the next dealer

Buck

/bʌk/
noun
1.
Pearl S(ydenstricker). 1892–1973, US novelist, noted particularly for her novel of Chinese life The Good Earth (1931): Nobel prize for literature 1938
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pass the buck

buck

n.

"male deer," c.1300, earlier "male goat;" from Old English bucca "male goat," from Proto-Germanic *bukkon (cf. Old Saxon buck, Middle Dutch boc, Dutch bok, Old High German boc, German Bock, Old Norse bokkr), perhaps from a PIE root *bhugo (cf. Avestan buza "buck, goat," Armenian buc "lamb"), but some speculate that it is from a lost pre-Germanic language. Barnhart says Old English buc "male deer," listed in some sources, is a "ghost word or scribal error."

Meaning "dollar" is 1856, American English, perhaps an abbreviation of buckskin, a unit of trade among Indians and Europeans in frontier days, attested in this sense from 1748. Pass the buck is first recorded in the literal sense 1865, American English:

The 'buck' is any inanimate object, usually knife or pencil, which is thrown into a jack pot and temporarily taken by the winner of the pot. Whenever the deal reaches the holder of the 'buck', a new jack pot must be made. [J.W. Keller, "Draw Poker," 1887]
Perhaps originally especially a buck-handled knife. The figurative sense of "shift responsibility" is first recorded 1912. Buck private is recorded by 1870s, of uncertain signification.

"sawhorse," 1817, American English, apparently from Dutch bok "trestle."

v.

1848, apparently with a sense of "jump like a buck," from buck (n.1). Related: Bucked; bucking. Buck up "cheer up" is from 1844.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pass the buck in Culture

pass the buck definition


To shift blame from oneself to another person: “Passing the buck is a way of life in large bureaucracies.” (See the buck stops here.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for pass the buck

pass the buck

verb phrase

To refer a problem or responsibility to someone else, esp to a higher authority; decline to take action: We chickened out and passed the buck to the dean

[1865+; fr poker games where one would pass the buck, usu a pocketknife with a buck horn handle, on to the next person, thereby passing the deal on]


buck

noun
  1. A dollar (1850s+)
  2. A hundred dollars, esp as a bet (1960s+ Gambling)
  3. buck private
  4. A Roman Catholic priest (1920s+ Hoboes)
  5. A young male Indian; Native American brave (1800+)
  6. young black man (1830s+)
  7. Any young man, esp a strong and spirited one; bucko (mid-1700s+)
verb
  1. To resist; defy; go up against •Often in the negative: You can't buck the system/ Life is a combination hard to buck, A proposition difficult to beat (1850s+)
  2. To work for personal advancement; aspire eagerly; covet: I'm bucking for that dealership (1880s+)
  3. To pass along a letter, memorandum, problem, etc, usually without taking action; pass the buck: Let's buck this one to the Committee on Hot Potatoes (WWII armed forces)
Related Terms

bang for the buck, big bucks, the buck stops here, fast buck, pass the buck, sawbuck

[all senses ultimately fr buck, ''male animal, usually horned''; the semantics are complex: for example, the first sense is said to be fr the fact that a buck deer's skin was more valuable than a female's skin; the other senses have most to do with male behavior of a butting and strutting sort]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with pass the buck

pass the buck

Shift responsibility or blame elsewhere, as in She's always passing the buck to her staff; it's time she accepted the blame herself. This expression dates from the mid-1800s, when in a poker game a piece of buckshot or another object was passed around to remind a player that he was the next dealer. It acquired its present meaning by about 1900.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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