whipping boy

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whipping boy

A person or thing that is blamed for problems, often those caused by someone or something else. Bobby got tired of being the whipping boy for the mischief caused by his older brothers. Video games have become the whipping boy for the violent behavior displayed by today's youth.
See also: boy, whipping

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

a whipping boy

If someone is a whipping boy, people blame them when things go wrong. `There won't be a white paper,' one minister said yesterday. `It wouldn't solve anything. It would just make the prime minister a whipping boy for both the left and right.' This is the story of how America's favorite whipping boy became her favorite son. Note: A whipping boy was a boy who was educated with a prince and was punished for the prince's mistakes because tutors were not allowed to hit the prince.
See also: boy, whipping

a ˈwhipping boy

a person who is blamed or punished for the mistakes of another person: The directors are clearly responsible for what happened, but they’re sure to find a whipping boy lower down the company.It was your fault, and I am not going to be your whipping boy.In the past when a royal prince made a mistake in his lessons, another boy was whipped (= punished) for his mistakes.
See also: boy, whipping
References in periodicals archive ?
Barnes's trope of the whipping boy is one "who is to be flogged in the prince's place" so that "[t]he prince's body remains untouched, but his sensibilities are aroused and sharpened .
QPR have been one of the whipping boys for the promotion-chasing sides this season, but we could not do it.
Daily star: "Jekyll and Hyde Boro are fast becoming the perfect opponents for the Premiership's whipping boys.
PAUL JEWELL may be allowed to admit WIGAN are favourites for relegation - but woe betide anyone else who predicts his newly-promoted side will be whipping boys this year.
But Richard Slade, chairman of the North East region of the British Institute of Innkeeping and licensee at Magnesia Bank in North Shields, said: "Pubs are becoming the whipping boys on violent crime.
GLASGOW ROCKS coach Sterling Davis has warned his side not to let complacency creep in against BBL whipping boys Essex Pirates tonight.
Anything other than a victory is likely to result in Samp's elimination from the competition - they would be relying on second-placed Metalist failing to win their matchday five clash away to Hungarian whipping boys Debrecen.
AFTER just one Test - against whipping boys Bangladesh - Steven Finn is being hailed as the new Glenn McGrath.
And although Gretna have been viewed as the whipping boys of the SPL Frail reckons the Jambos are in for a tough match.
They will be looked upon as the whipping boys in the top league.
BOB MALCOLM has promised Rangers will not become the Champions League whipping boys, writes DAVID LEGGAT.
They have a chance of staying up if they maintain that energy, but I can't see past Sunderland being the whipping boys
If further proof was needed that Welshpool are no longer the Welsh Premier whipping boys this was surely it as TNS crashed to their first league defeat of the season.
A record-breaking knock by Mohammad Ashraful gave Bangladesh cricket fans another false dawn but by the end of day three the Test whipping boys were staring a heavy defeat in the face.
REGULAR whipping boys Cemaes Bay were in trouble against far superior Halkyn United whose player-manager Gareth Thomas scored a hat-trick.