Thursday, July 07, 2011

How do Koreans say "to pass the buck"?

The American idiom "to pass the buck" is translated in Korean as 책임을 전가하다. 책임(責任) means "responsibility," and 전가(轉嫁) means "to impute" or "to attribute."

What I find interesting about the Korean expression is that 전가(轉嫁) also means "to remarry" on the part of a woman. The Chinese characters literally mean "transfer the wife's marriage."

Unloading your wife onto the back of another man seems like a perfect example of "passing the buck."


  1. "책임을 전가하다" sounds very formal. more commonly, I would say "책임을 돌리다".

  2. Thanks for sharing your experiences here on your blog --- I enjoyed this post, and I'm looking forward to more.

  3. I usually use 책임을 떠넘기다. 우연 I have found this blog and then shared to my friend who wanna know Korean slang. :)
    When I was young I studied from 사자소학 t 소학 , so every post you wrote is impressive. Quite interesting. So happy to know this blog :)


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