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shaggy dog story

A long-winded anecdote that has a silly or anticlimactic ending. The old man was known for telling shaggy dog stories that made people groan and scratch their heads when he reached the ending.
See also: dog, shaggy, story

shaggy-dog Story

a kind of funny story that relies for its humor on its length and its sudden ridiculous ending. Don't let John tell a shaggy-dog story. It'll go on for hours. Mary didn't get the point of Fred's shaggy-dog story.
See also: story

shaggy-dog story

A long drawn-out anecdote with an absurd or anticlimactic ending. For example, At first he had us laughing wildly at his shaggy-dog stories, but after the third or fourth we found them tiresome . The term alludes to a well-known series of such stories, which involved a talking dog. [c. 1940]
See also: story

a shaggy-dog story

a long, rambling story or joke, especially one that is amusing only because it is absurdly inconsequential or pointless.
The expression, dating back to the 1940s, comes from the subject of one such anecdote, a dog with shaggy hair.
1993 New York Times Book Review The book has the unhurried pace of the best of the shaggy dog stories; the pleasure is all in the journey rather than the destination.
See also: story

a ˌshaggy-ˈdog story

(informal) a long, complicated story or joke, which has no proper ending and is not very funny: He told us this joke, which turned out to be a shaggy-dog story, and I hate those!This expression comes from the subject of one particular story of this kind, a dog with long, untidy (shaggy) hair.
See also: story
References in periodicals archive ?
So is a longer, shaggier look made popular by the Lukes of Oregon hoop fame.
This will give your hair a shaggier look with volume, shape and more styling versatility.
Pintchuck says to watch for a resurgence of--believe it or not--the longer, shaggier carpet.
In a nutshell: Shaggier than the tautly constructed ``State of Play,'' well-acted and gritty, though the humor could be sharper.
Television's dog days of August are shaggier than usual with the Olympics destined to dominate the airwaves, prompting most rival networks to hibernate through the Games.
Three dogs qualified for temperament testing on Wednesday - a sleek and lively black Labrador-pit bull female; a larger, shaggier and shyer black male of unknown breed; and an obedient and attentive shepherd mix.
Mind you, it would have been a shaggier dog story if Gizmo had been found by a sniffer dog.
This is a simple, one length bob, but it's cut into for a shaggier feel.
What they said: "Hayek is a movie sex goddess who here deliberately transforms herself into the image of Kahlo's shaggier, more unorthodox looks.