whipping boy


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Idioms, Wikipedia.

whipping boy

surrogate sufferer for delinquent prince. [Eur. Hist.: Brewer Note-Book, 942]
References in periodicals archive ?
There must be an easier way; this time (as it's consistently done), Nissan joined the politicians in calling for the whipping boy!
In its inception, however, a 'whipping boy' was a literal person.
In other words, as Barnes puts it, Americans have needed both to have and to imagine being a "whipping boy" in order to create the kind of affective bonds that can counter an otherwise "existential estrangement" and to "substantiate a notion of American character itself as exceptionally empathetic" (174, 3).
Carbon emissions from transport in the EU may well have grown by 32 per cent between 1990 and 2005, while other industrial sectors reduced their emissions by 9.5 per cent over the same period, but as long as the car plays the role of environmental whipping boy, the bigger picture remains obscured.
Maybe the artist got tired of being the whipping boy for all that went wrong with painting in the '80s, and saw the digital processes he began employing in 2002 as a way out.
In The Most Activist Supreme Court in History (a title that could earn the Coulter Citation for Rhetorical Subtlety), political scientist Thomas Keck gives credit to a practice that has long been the rhetorical whipping boy of the legal right: judicial activism.
He went on to call the DOB "the most misunderstood and mishandled agency in the city...chronically used as the whipping boy."
Powell whipping boy Mike McGill has recently leant his endorsement to some very modestly-priced shoes and boards available at Wad-Mart.
Imports have become the whipping boy for the problems that certain integrated producers are experiencing.
"The Whipping Boy" by Jib Fowles (March) illuminates the tendency of many Americans to pay lip service to the power of free markets.
Shift the blame to a new whipping boy, to an external force.
The government was a frequent whipping boy at the show.