badger game

Idioms & Phrases

badger game

An extortion scheme in which a man is lured into a compromising position, usually by a woman, and then is "discovered" and blackmailed by her associate. For example, The prosecutor accused the couple of playing the badger game. The term alludes to the much older sport of badger-baiting, in which a live badger was trapped and put inside a box and dogs were set on it to drag it out. The woman in the scheme is the "badger." [Late 1800s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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