the buck stops here

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

Popularized by US president Harry Truman. The phrase is based on the metaphorical expression passing the buck, derived from poker gameplay, that came to mean "passing blame", or absolving oneself of responsibility or concern by denying authority or jurisdiction over a given matter.

Phrase[edit]

the buck stops here

  1. (idiomatic) A statement that no excuses will be made, that the speaker is going to take direct responsibility for matters, rather than pass the responsibility to higher authorities.
    • 1994 January 25, William J. Clinton, State of the Union Address, 2004 Gutenberg eBook,
      If you will stick with this plan, we will post three consecutive years of declining deficits for the first time since Harry Truman lived in the White House. And once again, the buck stops here.

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