What does "skin" or "skin in the game" mean in the following sentence? "make sure that everyone has skin in the game".

  • This has come up before: english.stackexchange.com/questions/121939/… – Andrew Leach Jun 19 '14 at 21:10
  • Incredible as it may seem, but in 2004 -2007, first time home buyers could get a mortgage to buy a house with no equity commitment at all. Zero. So, when the real estate market went south, many of these borrowers stopped making mortgage payments. When the lenders got around to foreclosing, the borrowers walked away. They had been living rent free, and had no "skin in the game." – steven king Jun 19 '14 at 23:06
  • another i enjoy is "put your money where your mouth is." This is a frequent barroom challenge, as two partisans cap their argument on the outcome of a pending contest with a wager – steven king Jun 19 '14 at 23:09
  • then there's tuchus affen tisch, (lots of alternative spellings), put your butt on the table, or something like that. Time to stop negotiating and tender an offer backed with earnest money. – steven king Jun 19 '14 at 23:13
  • New idiom! Love it! – anongoodnurse Jun 20 '14 at 3:59

The phrase skin in the game is an idiom referring to effort, money, or other risk invested in something that could be potentially painful if it goes wrong. It is synonymous with the expression stake in the game.

According to this source, skin can be interpreted as "a metaphor for being committed to something through emotional, financial, or bodily commitment", or "a synecdoche representing the whole being".

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Consider a pig and a chicken who are contemplating jointly opening a breakfast restaurant, serving primarily bacon and eggs.

The pig complains that the chicken will only be involved in the venture, whereas he will be committed. The pig, in this case, has skin in the game.

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  • 3
    This is a common story, an "oldie but a goody," in business circles that really gets the point across. – steven king Jun 19 '14 at 23:19

I think you are referring to:

Warren Buffett talked about "putting skin in the game" in reference to managers and high officials showing their confidence in the company by putting their own money (their own skin)in. This, in turn, builds investor confidence. It has become almost a cliché, as Warren Buffett's reputation is itself a confidence builder.

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