Pass and take the 5th

Posted by Lewis on July 03, 2003

In Reply to: "Pass the fifth" posted by Guest on June 30, 2003

: What does "pass the fifth" mean?

Forgive me as an Englishman, but I believe "the 5th" appears to refer to the 5th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. I think it preserves the right against self-incrimination : in other words to 'take the 5th' on something means to refuse to answer a question, on the basis that they might incriminate themselves by answering. When you refuse to answer, one usually would say "pass"
so to Pass the 5th would appear to be refusing to answer a question.