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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 ?
Shaggy was riding high on his success in the music industry when reality kicked in.
Set to seven Monteverdi madrigals pondering the exigencies of love, charmingly performed by the Artek Singers and 458 Strings, the seven dancers, in a variety of white, chic, and shaggy costumes by Isaac Mizrahi, declare their supposed aversion to love with arm-sweeping gestures; yet two lovers seem to plead for favor from a madonna figure, and dancers hold up two fingers to pledge love or leap with arms suggesting birds in flight -- light, sweet, cupidlike.
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Swiss designer Adriana Kaegi made her Home Textiles Show debut in April with a line of shaggy, sophisticated recycled silk decorative pillows, rugs and throws.
ONE Direction's Liam Payne has defended his hit inspired by Shaggy's It Wasn't Me - saying the Jamaican star borrowed from other tracks in the first place.
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And well-played to Steve Leonard, Kate Humble (do you reckon she misses working with Bill Oddie?) and co for an enjoyable romp through three weeks of fascinating facts, figures and shaggy (and non-shaggy) dog stories.
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London, Nov 5 (ANI): Russell Brand says he's ready to cut his shaggy mane for the sake of his Hollywood career.
Trying his hardest to find a moment as he hurriedly makes his way from a plane to a personal limo, a normally cool Shaggy breathes a sigh of relief as he confides he almost missed his transfer.
Scooby and his faithful pal Shaggy attempt to outwit nasty Dr Phibes with the help of Uncle Albert and a robot called Robby in four fun-filled episodes of the series
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BRIAN ROBBINS'S modern day remake of the 1959 family favourite starring Fred MacMurray and Jean Hagen (reinvented in 1976 as The Shaggy D.A.) proves you can't teach new tricks to an old shaggy dog story.