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Some claim that it derives from an American custom of indicating who the card dealer is by stabbing a buckhorn knife into the table in front of him. What cliché is it?

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Answer: pass the buck

Purportedly, the marker was called a buck (from buckhorn knife ) and it marked the current dealer. When the buck is passed to the next player, the next player deals.

However, this is a disputed etymology. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, "The buck is any inanimate object, usually knife or pencil, which is thrown into a jack pot and temporarily taken by the winner of the pot. Whenever the deal reaches the holder of the buck, a new jack pot must be made." (Source: Draw Poker by J.W. Keller (1877))


Presumably this (either of these) is also the source of the Truman's trademark phrase, "The buck stops here."

[Mootguy: The first recorded instance of "buck" in the sense of "responsibility" is from 1912. Thus, when Truman says "The buck stops here" he's saying that "the responsibility stops here."]
jgramarye at

Yahoo, I got one!! thank you

[Mootguy: Excellent. Note that I try to make these mailing list questions more difficult because I assume people will use the Internet to find the answer. The board-game questions are a bit easier.]
ande1379 at

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