Definition of whipping boy in English:

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whipping boy


A person who is blamed or punished for the faults or incompetence of others: I may end up as the whipping boy if things go wrong
More example sentences
  • Of course, you are an innocent victim, the whipping boy to be punished for other people's crimes.
  • It's tempting to blame those familiar whipping boys: television and the movies.
  • It is always easy to blame the politicians, they have become our favourite whipping boys, but we are just as guilty as them in our failure to examine social phenomena rigorously.


Extended use of the original term (mid 17th century) denoting a boy educated with a young prince or other royal person and punished instead of him.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: whip|ping boy

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