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 ?
Having finished Love's Whipping Boy, I was struck by how it both elaborates and complicates Amos Oz's transnational argument about the nature of fanaticism.
There are several reasons why television violence has become such an exemplary whipping boy.
He may be the commonwealth's most popular politician, but within Republican Party power circles he has become a whipping boy.
Whalen, executive director of the Plumbing Foundation City of New York, "For at least the last 20 years, governors, mayors and editorial boards have found the Wicks Law to be a convenient whipping boy for the failures of the public construction system.
Sirius Satellite Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI) - EXPECTATIONALANALYSIS(R): SIRI has been a favorite whipping boy for the Street.
I use Bill Clinton as my whipping boy,'' said Curtin, whose Los Angeles-based consulting firm Curtin & Associates has been busy ensuring that companies meet new state sexual-harassment training laws effective Sunday.
But this isn't the fault of the sick and they shouldn't be used as the whipping boy.
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.
Following a blistering set at Oxegen, Whipping Boy are set to play their critically acclaimed album 'Heartworm' from 1995 in its entirety plus all the hits tomorrow night.
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.
Whipping Boy and Alabama 3 are the latest acts to be added to the bill for Vantastival 2011.