whipping boy

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Middle English wippen "flap violently", from Proto-Germanic wipp-, from Proto-Indo-European wib- "move quickly". Whipping boy first recorded 1647.

Noun[edit]

whipping boy (plural whipping boys)

  1. Someone punished for the errors of others, historically a boy that was whipped in the stead of a misbehaving prince.
    "As the whipping boy, he must take the whippings for the royal heir, Prince Brat."

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]