carry the can
   to receive undeserved punishment while the culprit goes free
   Some authorities suggest that the can contained beer. Common use in the First World War suggests that it was more likely to have carried food prepared behind the lines for those in the trenches. The full version carry the can back may have referred rather to the unpleasant and dangerous duty of taking the can1, with its malodorous cargo of urine and faeces, back to the rear from the trenches; and see rears. The phrase is also used of a guilty person singled out or available for punishment among several miscreants:
    ... whoever inflicted that fatal wound has not been brought to justice... you alone stand to carry the can. (Daily Telegraph, 1 November 1995)
   See also as take the can back.

How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • carry the can — verb To take responsibility, especially in a challenging situation. For Vajpayee, who is keen that he alone does not carry the can for his unwieldy alliance, it is a tough decision …   Wiktionary

  • Carry the can — do the dirty work; bear the responsibility; take the blame …   Dictionary of Australian slang

  • carry the can — Australian Slang do the dirty work; bear the responsibility; take the blame …   English dialects glossary

  • carry the ball — {v. phr.}, {informal} To take the most important or difficult part in an action or business. * /None of the other boys would tell the principal about their breaking the window, and John had to carry the ball./ * /When the going is rough, Fred can …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • carry the ball — {v. phr.}, {informal} To take the most important or difficult part in an action or business. * /None of the other boys would tell the principal about their breaking the window, and John had to carry the ball./ * /When the going is rough, Fred can …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • carry\ the\ ball — v. phr. informal To take the most important or difficult part in an action or business. None of the other boys would tell the principal about their breaking the window, and John had to carry the ball. When the going is rough, Fred can always be… …   Словарь американских идиом

  • Voices Carry (The 4400 episode) — The 4400 episode Title = Voices Carry Season = 2 Episode = 03 Airdate = June 12, 2005 Writer = Lisa Melamed Director = Vincent Misiano 4400 = Gary Navarro Prev = Wake Up Call Next = Weight Of The World IMDb id = 0502809 Voices Carry is an episode …   Wikipedia

  • The Bill (series 10) — The Bill Series 10 Country of origin United Kingdom No. of episodes 156 Broadcast Original channel ITV …   Wikipedia

  • carry — car|ry1 W1S1 [ˈkæri] v past tense and past participle carried present participle carrying third person singular carries ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(lift and take)¦ 2¦(vehicle/ship/plane)¦ 3¦(pipe/wire etc)¦ 4¦(move something)¦ 5¦(have with you)¦ …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • carry — car|ry1 [ keri ] verb *** ▸ 1 take someone/something somewhere ▸ 2 have goods for sale ▸ 3 spread disease ▸ 4 always have a feeling ▸ 5 publish/broadcast something ▸ 6 have a guarantee ▸ 7 win election ▸ 8 do someone else s work ▸ 9 lead to… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • carry — [[t]kæ̱ri[/t]] ♦ carries, carrying, carried 1) VERB If you carry something, you take it with you, holding it so that it does not touch the ground. [V n] He was carrying a briefcase... [V n prep/adv] He carried the plate through to the dining room …   English dictionary

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