butt of a joke

the butt of a/the joke

The target of a joke; the person or subject being mocked or ridiculed. My big brother loves to tease me—every time he opens his mouth, I'm the butt of the joke. No one likes being the butt of a joke, but the best thing to do is just laugh with them.
See also: butt, joke, of

butt of a joke

the reason for or aim of a joke, especially when it is a person. Poor Fred was the butt of every joke told that evening.
See also: butt, joke, of
References in periodicals archive ?
Tory high command maintains that their leader is relaxed about the film - he knows he'll look even shallower by complaining about being the butt of a joke, even a bad joke.
And she was stunned to be the butt of a joke over her fling with England footy boss Sven Goran Eriksson.
Some Indians fear they're the butt of a joke. India is one of the few countries that cares about the pageants (Jerry Springer hosted Miss World, which was not even televised in the U.S.).
Funny and accessible, Cunningham and Rauschenberg chatted on stage like a pair of veteran vaudevillians following Interscape's first performance, chuckling at their own tales or deadpan when they were the butt of a joke.
Such questions included: "Which three members of your group are most (and least) likely to initiate jokes about other people?" and "Which members of your group are most (and least) likely to be the butt of a joke at work?"
To make a novice the butt of a joke, however, is considered tasteless--at least until he or she has had a chance to become known and accepted by the group.