whipping boy


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

whipping boy

Fig. someone who is punished for someone else's misdeeds. The president has turned out to be the whipping boy for his party.
See also: boy, whipping

whipping boy

A scapegoat, as in This department's always been the whipping boy when things don't go well. This expression alludes to the former practice of keeping a boy to be whipped in place of a prince who was to be punished. [Early 1900s]
See also: boy, whipping
References in periodicals archive ?
There are several reasons why television violence has become such an exemplary whipping boy.
Whipping Boy have never made it easy for themselves and so if you like your rock n roll a little raw and emotional and your beer on a mat, take a trip to Dublin's Academy and check out a band from the 90's still kicking cans.
In fact, they have actively contributed to a political culture in which the WTO is a natural whipping boy.
Discredited in the '60s as overindulgent and ridden with cliches, gestural abstraction has been the whipping boy for successive generations of artists, from the Minimalists to the multicultural academy.
Kmart Holding Corporation (NASDAQ:KMRT) - EXPECTATIONALANALYSIS(R): Kmart continues to be a favorite whipping boy of the Street.
Whipping Boy and Alabama 3 are the latest acts to be added to the bill for Vantastival 2011.
He is not the whipping boy with me because I know that when push comes to shove you would want to have Jonty next to you.
A big group quickly settled on the notion that Katrina was part of the weather wars supposedly unleashed by greedy oil companies, Bush administration operatives, and the always-favored liberal whipping boy, Halliburton.
Pharmacists and other Medi-Cal providers have become the whipping boy for the Legislature and Governor after Governor," said Carlo Michelotti, R.
GUS MacPHERSON has watched Kirk Broadfoot go from whipping boy to top boy in just 12 months.
It must come as little surprise to the new pope that over the last week he has been made relativism's whipping boy.
1 player last season, has now missed four cuts in his last six events and could be a whipping boy for the Americans come September unless he leaves young Samuel Bevan with the childminder and gets down to some serious work on the driving range.
Northern Ireland organiser of union Unite Albert Mills said: "We are not going to be the whipping boy for Gordon Brown to get inflation down.
He has become football's whipping boy, the butt of cheap jokes.
Then the roiling '60s arrived and American suburbia - its uniformity, its uneventfulness - became a whipping boy for culture czars.