laughing stock

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EnglishEdit

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EtymologyEdit

From laughing +‎ stock ‎(source, supply; butt, target). Compare also whipping-stock, jesting-stock.

NounEdit

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, scene 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 September 12, Judy Battista, "Pro Football: NFL Matchups, Week 1," New York Times (retrieved 19 April 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.

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