I’m sure an expert in the field of word manipulation has tested the spin value of “kick the can down the road” very carefully for maximum blame-casting, but it’s driving me crazy that it’s not really a phrase. In American English we can kick something down the road, and we can play kick the can, but “kick the can down the road” is not a thing.
For the record, kick the can starts out like hide and seek, with one person as “it” and everyone else hiding. Depending on how you play, “it” has to find you and either tag you or shout your name and touch the can before you do, thus putting you in jail. If someone else races out of hiding and kicks the can without “it” doing so first, then the jail is emptied and “it” has to count again.
Republicans, this is not what you mean when you’re complaining about the Senate’s payroll tax cut extension being more procrastination than problem solving. (I know Republicans didn’t coin this phrase, so to be fair, debt ceiling complainers and anyone else who’s been using this expression in connection with your frustration that something is being put off instead of being dealt with immediately, this means you too.)
There’s no “down the road” in Kick The Can.
Instructional kick the can video after the jump…