skin in the game

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Attributed by some to Warren Buffett, but Buffett "refuses all responsibility for the viral spread" of the phrase. [1]


skin in the game (uncountable)

  1. (idiomatic) A stake; something at risk, especially with regard to money and investments.
    • 1912 April 20, "Tantalus", “Social Prattle”, in Town Talk[1], San Francisco: Pacific Publication Company, page 14:
      She didn't play polo, though she seemed crazy for a chance. She was very insistent while the men refused to let her hazard her skin in the game, but when they finally consented she was attacked by what the vulgar call "cold feet" and renigged.
    • 1992 June 18, Associated Press, “Perot's campaign is wary of fund-raising operations”, in The Sun[2], San Bernardino, CA, page 22:
      [Ross] Perot has told people they can send $5 if they want to have "some skin in the game" but he does not actively solicit contributions and says he will finance his own campaign.


  1. ^ "Language: Who's got a skin in the game?" New York Times (US). September 17, 2006; retrieved 2011-08-08

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