Laughing stock

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English

Alternative forms

Etymology

  • laughing + stock. Thought to originate from the time when stocks were used to punish and humiliate petty criminals.

Noun

laughing stock (plural Laughing stocks)
  1. (idiomatic) An object of ridicule, someone who is publicly ridiculed; a butt of sport.
    • c. 1598 William Shakespeare, Merry Wives of Windsor, act 3, sc. 1:
      Pray you let us not be
      laughing-stocks to other men's humours.
    • 1856, Lord Macaulay, contribution to Encyclopedia Britannica on Oliver Goldsmith:
      When he talked, he talked nonsense, and made himself the laughing-stock of his hearers.
    • 2004, Judy Battista, "Pro Football: NFL Matchups, Week 1," New York Times, 12 Sep. (retrieved 19 Apr. 2009):
      If anyone can restore dignity to a franchise that has been close to a laughing stock in the last few years, it's Gibbs.

Synonyms

Related terms

Translations

et:laughing stock

ru:laughing stock ta:laughing stock

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