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be left holding the baby (or North American bag)

Definition of be left holding the baby or North American bag in English:

informal Be left with an unwelcome responsibility, typically without warning.
Example sentences
  • Ultimately our soldiers are the ones left holding the bag.
  • When the steady market increases came to a halt, and the dishonesty of some in corporate America came to light, shareholders were often left holding the bag.
  • Doctors may be feeling as though they were left holding the bag.
See parent entry: hold

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