- a person who is made to bear the blame for another's mistake; scapegoat.
- (formerly) a boy educated along with and taking punishment in place of a young prince or nobleman.
Origin of whipping boy
Examples from the Web for whipping boy
Historical Examples of whipping boy
But she's had to understand that I won't be her friend's whipping-boy.Regiment of Women
It's an old story; the House of Commons must always have its whipping-boy.
He was no longer a mere excrescence on the face of the earth—a poor, puny Pincher who was everybody's whipping-boy.Pincher Martin, O.D.
H. Taprell Dorling
If the Pasha had a whipping-boy, I fear the poor fellow would have had a severe time of it.
When he went to school he was always the whipping-boy and always the object of his schoolfellows' mockery.
- a person of little importance who is blamed for the errors, incompetence, etc, of others, esp his superiors; scapegoat
Word Origin for whipping boy
A scapegoat, as in This department's always been the whipping boy when things don't go well. This expression alludes to the former practice of keeping a boy to be whipped in place of a prince who was to be punished. [Early 1900s]