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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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

a shaggy-dog story

a long, rambling story or joke, especially one that is amusing only because it is absurdly inconsequential or pointless.
The expression, dating back to the 1940s, comes from the subject of one such anecdote, a dog with shaggy hair.
1993 New York Times Book Review The book has the unhurried pace of the best of the shaggy dog stories; the pleasure is all in the journey rather than the destination.
See also: story
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

a ˌshaggy-ˈdog story

(informal) a long, complicated story or joke, which has no proper ending and is not very funny: He told us this joke, which turned out to be a shaggy-dog story, and I hate those!This expression comes from the subject of one particular story of this kind, a dog with long, untidy (shaggy) hair.
See also: story
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
More and more though we are seeing a push of interest in going even shorter and shaggier! Think Taylor Swift 2016.
But once you got away from the greenness and the smoothness immediately surrounding the farm, the land changed colour and appearance, became shaggier and wilder and browner.
A leap forward in time brings in an older, shaggier, more feral Marcos (the already wolfish-visaged Juan Jose Ballesta) for about 20 minutes at the end.
The bob is a timeless cut but Meg's hairdresser, Sally Hershberger, created the shaggier version.
So is a longer, shaggier look made popular by the Lukes of Oregon hoop fame.
This will give your hair a shaggier look with volume, shape and more styling versatility.
Pintchuck says to watch for a resurgence of--believe it or not--the longer, shaggier carpet.
Newman, 51, and Greif, 35, almost look like father and son; both sport boyish faces, teddy-bear paunches, horn-rimmed specs and curly hair (though Newman's is gray and far shaggier).
Television's dog days of August are shaggier than usual with the Olympics destined to dominate the airwaves, prompting most rival networks to hibernate through the Games.
Three dogs qualified for temperament testing on Wednesday - a sleek and lively black Labrador-pit bull female; a larger, shaggier and shyer black male of unknown breed; and an obedient and attentive shepherd mix.
Mind you, it would have been a shaggier dog story if Gizmo had been found by a sniffer dog.