carry the can

idiom
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of carry the can

British, informal
: to accept blame or responsibility for something that one did not cause
  • He made the error, but she was left to carry the can.
  • Taxpayers will carry the can for the renovations.

Word by Word Definitions

carry play
  1. : to move while supporting : transport

  2. : to convey by direct communication

  3. : conduct, escort

  1. : carrying power

  2. : portage

  3. : the act or method of carrying

can play
  1. : know, understand

  2. : to be able to do, make, or accomplish

  3. : to have knowledge or skill

  1. : a usually cylindrical receptacle:

  2. : a vessel for holding liquids

  3. : a usually metal typically cylindrical receptacle usually with an open top, often with a removable cover, and sometimes with a spout or side handles (as for holding liquid or trash)

  1. : to put in a can : preserve by sealing in airtight cans or jars

  2. : to hit (a golf shot) into the cup

  3. : to hit (a shot) in basketball


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