Each week, we try to have a new story. In these stories, we explain English words and expressions. Often, they come from day-to-day events in our lives and become part of the language.
The expression "pass the buck" is an example. A card game may be the origin of this American expression.
Pass the buck（推卸责任）这句短语就是其中一个例子。这个美式短语的起源可能是一种纸牌游戏。
Gamblers in saloons of the Old West may be responsible for "pass the buck." To understand how we have to learn about the game of poker – then and now.
昔日西部酒吧里的赌徒可能跟pass the buck这个短语有关。为了了解原因，我们必须学习当时和现在的扑克游戏。
In poker, each player, one after another, mixes the playing cards, and then passes them out. They deal them. Back then, an object -- often a Buck knife -- was placed in front of a player whose turn it was to deal.
A man named Hoyt Buck created the Buck knife back in the early 1900s. As a young blacksmith in Kansas, Buck wanted to find a better way to make knife blades stronger and hold their sharp edge longer. He produced his first Buck knife in 1902 and the family company is still making Buck knives today.
But let's get back to the poker game.
Okay, so the person with the marker, or the "buck," in front of them had a decision to make. They could either keep the deal or give it to another player. They would pass the Buck knife, or other similar marker, when they did not want the responsibility of dealing.
So, today when someone passes the buck, they fail to take responsibility for a problem. They want someone else to solve it.
所以，今天当我们说某人passes the buck时，意思是他们未能承担某个问题的责任。他们希望别人去解决这个问题。
"Pass the buck" led to another American expression. Former President Harry Truman, who enjoyed playing poker, made this one famous.
Pass the buck还导致了另一句美式短语。喜欢玩扑克牌的前总统杜鲁门使这句话变得出名。
A friend of Truman's presented him with a small sign for his White House office. The sign said: "The buck stops here." This meant that Truman was responsible for what happened in the country. The president cannot "pass the buck."
There are other ways to express the meanings of "pass the buck."
You could also say "avoid responsibility" or even "evade responsibility."
你还可以说avoid responsibility甚至是evade responsibility。
If you shift the blame, you try to make someone else take responsibility for something you did. Many work places have these types of people. For whatever reason, they are unable to take responsibility for their mistakes. These types of people try to shift the blame to others.
如果你推卸责任（shift the blame），意思是试图让别人为你做的事情承担责任。许多工作场所都有这类人。不管出于什么原因，他们不能为自己的错误承担责任，这类人试图把责任推卸给别人。
When you evade responsibility, you refuse to own up to something you did. You can also evade responsibility for something you failed to do. However, evading responsibility does not necessarily mean placing it on someone else. "Passing the buck" does – you force someone else to deal with a problem or issue.
当你逃避责任时，你拒绝承认自己犯下的错误（own up to something）。你也可以逃避自己未能做到的事情的责任。然而，逃避责任（evading responsibility）并不一定意味着把锅甩给别人，但是推卸责任（passing the buck）是指甩锅给别人，你强迫他人来解决问题。
Sometimes we simply say we "own it" -- "it" being the mistake. If you "own" something that has gone wrong, you take full responsibility for it. We also say things like, "That's on me!" or "My bad!" These are very casual and common ways of saying, "It's my fault!"
有时候我们只说“我对此负责”（own it），这个it是指错误。如果说你own一些错误，是指你对此承担责任。我们也这样说，“这是我的责任！”（That's on me!）或者“我的错！”（My bad！）这些都是表述“这是我的错”（It's my fault!）的一些非常随意和常见的说法。
Now, let's hear the words and expressions in a short dialogue.
A: Okay, so our meeting with the client is tomorrow at 4 pm. They want to see a mock-up of our interactive web page. I have all the content written. Are you finished with the draft yet?
B: Um, Allen is making the draft web page.
A: He told me that you wanted to do it.
B: I did not say that. My job is to find images and videos. He is trying to pass the buck ... again!
A: Yeah, he does that a lot, doesn't he. Well, we need something to show the client tomorrow. Do you have the images?
B: Yeah, they're on this flash drive. Wait. Where is the flash drive?
A: I don't know.
B: Oh man! I do! I left it on the train coming into work today.
A: So, let me get this straight. Our meeting with the client is tomorrow afternoon and we don't have a web page or images.
B: Losing the images is on me. I'll load another flash drive today. But I have nothing to do with the web page!
A: Don't worry about that. I'm project manager. So, ultimately the buck stops with me. You just get me the videos and photos by close of business. I'll take care of the rest.
B: Got it!
And that's the end of this Words and Their Stories.
I'm Anna Matteo.