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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

a shaggy dog story

a joke which is a long story with a silly end My grandad insists on telling these shaggy dog stories, which nobody finds funny except him.
See also: dog, shaggy, 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
References in periodicals archive ?
As early as the 1970s Peter Brown and others sought to codify this benign evolutionary thesis into the formal field of "Late Antiquity," in which it was taboo to think of an abrupt erosion of culture or civilization, much less to prejudge shaggier peoples across the Danube and Rhine.
Even then, the parks may look a little bit shaggier.
This mistaken identity was not because his hair is much shaggier and his racket-breaking routines appear to be a thing of the past.
By 1965, peace has many tombstones, Eva can't tell Nel from Sula, and Shadrack makes a final appearance, a "little shaggier, a little older, still energetically mad" (173).
By comparison, billys have a prominent, high hump on their shoulder, a chunkier build and shaggier fur.
In the beginning, the Flange residence rises from a "big mossy tumulus out of the earth, its color that of one of the shaggier prehistoric beasts" (1984, 56); in the end, the dump is "sunk fifty feet below the streets of the sprawling housing development which surrounded it" (1984, 64).
Or, if still interesting, he disappoints his shaggier admirers by conforming as ecstatic soulmate, reverential son-in-law, and gladly house-broken husband who worries that friends will track mud over the expensive carpets.
Hokey Pokey Elmo: A new, shaggier Elmo takes up where Chicken