shaggy dog story

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Origin uncertain; probably from one of two jokes, one in which a protracted search for an alleged remarkably shaggy, talking dog ends in the discovery of the dog which, though it can indeed talk, is disappointingly not so shaggy after all; or one in which an even more protracted search for the shaggiest dog in the world ends in the utterly anticlimactic punchline “Now that’s a shaggy dog!”.


  • Hyphenation: shag‧gy dog sto‧ry


shaggy dog story (plural shaggy dog stories)

  1. A long-winded joke or tale featuring the narration of typically irrelevant details, and usually ending with an absurd or pointless punchline which is often a pun or Spoonerism on a known catchphrase.

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