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I've been hearing 甩锅 (shuǎiguō) used to describe how US president Trump often blames others (currently the WHO). It means "to shift the blame" or "to pass the buck". I'm interested in its etymology.

Baidu Baike and Baidu Zhidao both say it comes from a 局 (?) in the game League of Legends called 甩锅局. I don't play this game so I don't really understand.

Question: What is the origin of 甩锅?

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5 Answers 5

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甩锅 means throw the pan literally. Before that we have a slang 背锅 / 背黑锅, means take the blame for others / be made a scapegoat; 锅 / 黑锅 connotes blame. Then 甩锅 is used for the meaning of throw one's blame to others, i.e. 推卸责任 (buck-passing).

Also see 背锅的由来.

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I don't know the answer to the main question here, and I don't have enough rep to just leave a comment, but I think I can help explain the tangential question. The "局" in "甩锅局" is referring to the state that the game finished in. For example, "胜局" means the game ended in victory. The game League of Legends has a client by Tencent which analyzes a match you have finished and awards you a title based on your role in the outcome of the game. "甩锅局" is one of those titles, and from my understanding it means that the statistics from the game shows that you played well in the match and the fault for losing it mostly lies with your teammates. "甩锅" meaning you created opportunities for you teammates to do well and then passed-the-buck to them to follow through, but they ultimately failed to do so. It surely is not the origin of the phrase, though.

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This originated from the League of Legends. I think the deeper origin is that the Red Army which is the predecessor of the PLA needed someone to carry the pot during the Long March and protect the pot during battles to prevent the pot from being damaged by bullets. They cant have food without a pot obviously. Many soldiers were killed during carrying and protecting the pot, and the story was told by teachers in school till now.

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Firstly, “背黑锅” already existed in 1984, according to 《语言教学与研究》magazine, 1984年第01期. Because in China, 锅 is always dark bottom, so it can also be “背锅” for simplicity.

让我来仔细进行分析 “背黑锅”:

背: put something on your back.

黑锅: dark pot, 这儿的意思是responsibility that you should not shoulder, 特别是那些不好的事情。锅, is pronounced similar to “过”, which means 过错 or mistake, fault.

So 背黑锅 means take the blame, your are the scapegoat(替罪羊), or you take the responsibility for others.

So 甩锅 should come from 背黑锅/背锅, 因为锅在这儿都是responbility的意思。”甩锅” is a natural usage if you can 背锅/carry the pot on the back, then you can 甩锅/throw away the pot on your back.

“甩”的意思是throw away, 甩锅 means you throw away responsibility and hope other people to take the blame.

e.g. 她从来不甩锅! She never shirks the responsibility.

https://www.askchinax.com/question/what-is-%e7%94%a9%e9%94%85-why-does-it-mean-shift-the-blame/

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When you play a game,your team lose,then you say it's not my fault,teammates are shit.it's ''甩锅'' In one word:it's not my fault,Others are responsible

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