Take the fall

take the pledge
take the fall
Incur blame or censure for another’s misdeeds, as in She’s taken the fall for you in terms of any political damage , or A senior official took the fall for the failed intelligence operation . This expression originated in the 1920s as underworld slang. It began to be extended to less criminal kinds of blame in the second half of the 1900s. Also see take a fall , def. 2.


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  • Take the heat

    take the cure take the heat Endure severe censure or criticism, as in He was known for being able to take the heat during a crisis. This idiom uses heat in the sense of “intense pressure,” as in if you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen [ First half of 1900s ]

  • Take the heat off

    take the fifth

  • Take the initiative

    Begin a task or plan of action, as in The boss was on vacation when they ran out of materials, so Julie took the initiative and ordered more. This term uses initiative in the sense of “the power to originate something,” a usage dating from the late 1700s.

  • Take the liberty of

    Act on one’s own authority without permission from another, as in I took the liberty of forwarding the mail to his summer address . It is also put as take the liberty to , as in He took the liberty to address the Governor by her first name . This rather formal locution was first […]

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