leave someone holding the bag
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Originated in 18th-century Britain, referring to a person left holding stolen goods while the rest of a criminal gang escapes.
- (figuratively) To abandon somebody, leaving them holding the responsibility or blame.
- After the accident, he just vanished and left me holding the bag.
- (figuratively) To remove the value from an article or arrangement and leave somebody holding the empty (or valueless) container.
leave somebody holding the responsibility or blame