pass the parcel

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pass the parcel (uncountable)

  1. (games) A children's game in which a parcel having many layers of packaging is passed from person to person around a ring while music plays, the person holding the parcel when the music is temporarily stopped being allowed to remove a single layer, and the person removing the innermost layer winning the prize contained within; in a variation of the game, there is a prize under each layer that is awarded to the person removing that layer.
  2. (by extension) a situation in which the ownership of something changes frequently.