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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 classic literature ?
A broad smile lighted the boy's features as he laid his hand upon the shaggy arm of his visitor.
That evening Dorothy had many callers, and among them were such important people as Tiktok, a machine man who thought and spoke and moved by clockwork; her old companion the genial Shaggy Man; Jack Pumpkinhead, whose body was brush-wood and whose head was a ripe pumpkin with a face carved upon it; the Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger, two great beasts from the forest, who served Princess Ozma, and Professor H.
Toto was an especial friend of the Shaggy Man, and he knew every one else.
The men wore loin cloths of the hide of some shaggy beast, long ends of which depended before and behind nearly to the ground.
Their arms and legs were proportioned more in conformity with human standards, but their entire bodies were covered with shaggy, brown hair, and their faces were quite as brutal as those of the few stuffed specimens of the gorilla which I had seen in the museums at home.
Then we set out in search of the great, shaggy cave bear of the higher altitudes.
He is but little larger than his cousin of the lesser, lower hills; but he makes up for it in the awfulness of his ferocity and in the length and thickness of his shaggy coat.
When this was done to our satisfaction we made heavy boots, trousers, and coats of the shaggy skin, turning the fur in.
I'm very fond of the shaggy man myself, and I think you will like him, too.
The light-brown body of the naked youth, all but hidden by the shaggy carcass of the killed ape, the red blood streaking his smooth hide, his muscles rolling, velvety, beneath.
That you and I exist today must be due to the preparedness of some shaggy anthropoid of the Oligocene.
A rustling in the undergrowth attracted his attention, and a moment later he had a partial view of a shaggy mane and tawny yellow back.
And then into the clearing strode Numa, the lion-- majestic and mighty, and from a deep chest issued the moan and the cough and the rumbling roar that set stiff hairs to bristling from shaggy craniums down the length of mighty spines.
The X Factor final has become a magnet for A-listers - so imagine my surprise to hear Shaggy has got the gig.
REGGAE singer Shaggy can't deny that it isn't him on holiday in Ireland because these pictures have caught him red-handed having a pint.