LEFT holding THE BAG - "To it is in deserted by one's comrades and left v the entire onus of what was originally a group responsibility. Similar expressions room to it is in 'left hold the baby' and left come 'carry the can.'" native "Brewer's dictionary of Phrase and also Fable" revised by Adrian Room (HarperCollinsPublishers, new York, 1999, sixteenth Edition).
Origin: Mid-18th Century, British and American jonathanlewisforcongress.com – The original kind of the expression was “give someone the bag come hold” (to save them lived in while girlfriend slipped away). The allude of view has actually shifted end the centuries to the of the victim – the one holding the bag.
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According to the digital Etymology Dictionary:
To be left holding the bag (and presumably nothing else), "cheated, swindled" is attested by 1793. Countless figurative senses
The American Heritage thesaurus of Idioms:
This idiom flourished out of the earlier give one the bag (to hold), which days from about 1600 and also alludes to being left through an empty bag while others have actually taken the valuable contents.
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Etymologies provided by sources that focus on a more general audience:
The totality Ball that Wax and Other Colloquial Phrases:
The American kind may come indigenous the old trust trick known as the drop game (q.v.) in i m sorry the sucker is left hold a (hand)bag filled with worthless paper
Safire"s political Dictionary:
a snipe hunt is an elaborate practical joke in which the victim is left in a lonely field at night holding a sack and also a tennis racket, one origin of the expression left hold the bag;
Idioms in the News - 1,000 Phrases, genuine Examples:
As beforehand as the 1500"s, to give the bag (to someone) supposed to leave them quickly. Very early example that is close come the contemporary phrase was composed in 1793 by thomas Jefferson: "...if the bankruptcies of England proceed...she will leave Spain the bag to hold..."