Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
do a moonlight flit To evade responsibility by leaving town during the night; to fly by night. This common British colloquialism, the equivalent of the American can fly by night, uses flit in the sense of moving from one residence to another, and moonlight to imply furtiveness associated with the move.
go between the moon and the milkman To leave town in order to evade creditors or other interested parties; to fly by night. This British colloquialism, the equivalent of the American fly by night, implies that, to avoid his personal and financial obligations, a person may depart clandestinely sometime between the rising of the moon (dusk) and the arrival of the milkman (dawn).
let George do it Let someone else do the work or assume the responsibility; pass the buck. This American colloquial expression dates from the turn of the century. George is a male generic term which derives from the Greek word for husbandman or farmer. By the 1920s this term was used by the British to refer to an airman, corresponding to Jack for a sailor (bluejacket) and Tommy for a soldier. George is also a British slang term for an automatic pilot in an aircraft or ship.
pass the buck To evade responsibility or blame by shifting it to someone else. Originally, pass the buck was a poker expression that meant handing the “buck” (a buckskin knife or other inanimate object) to another player in order to avoid some responsibility (such as dealing, starting a new jackpot, etc.) which fell on whoever possessed the “buck.”
I reckon I can’t call that hand. Ante and pass the buck. (Mark Twain, Roughing It, 1872)
As the expression became more figurative, it enjoyed widespread popular use, particularly in reference to bureaucratic procedures:
The Big Commissioner will get roasted by the papers and hand it to the Deputy Commish, and the Deputy will pass the buck down to me, and I’ll have to report how it happened. (William Irwin, The Red Button, 1912)
By the mid-1900s, pass the buck had become so intimately associated with governmental administration that during his presidency (1945-53), Harry Truman adopted the now-famous motto, “The buck stops here.”
pay with the roll of the drum Not to pay; to evade or ignore a debt. In this expression, roll of the drum implies a soldier on the march, i.e., in active military service. Since in many countries a soldier on active duty cannot be arrested for debts incurred while a civilian, it was common practice for debtors to join the armed services to avoid either having to make good on the debt or going to prison. The military connotations have faded over the years so that in contemporary usage, pay with the roll of the drum is usually applied figuratively.
|Noun||1.||irresponsibility - a form of untrustworthiness; the trait of lacking a sense of responsibility and not feeling accountable for your actions|
undependability, undependableness, unreliability, unreliableness - the trait of not being dependable or reliable
arbitrariness, flightiness, whimsicality, whimsy, whimsey, capriciousness - the trait of acting unpredictably and more from whim or caprice than from reason or judgment; "I despair at the flightiness and whimsicality of my memory"
carefreeness - the trait of being without worry or responsibility