laughing stock

laughing stock (plural laughing stocks)

  1. (idiomatic) An object of ridicule, someone who is publicly ridiculed; a butt of sport.
    • circa 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.
    • 2019 February 19, Annie Cohen, 'Yes, There’s Anti-Semitism In Labour. No, Those Politicians Didn’t Quit Over It. ↗', The Forward (retrieved 21 February 2019):
      The split was supposedly triggered by racism — specifically anti-Jewish racism. But on this front, the Independent Group have already become a laughingstock.
Synonyms Related terms
  • butt of the joke
  • French: risée, objet de moquerie
  • German: Lachnummer; Witzfigur
  • Italian: zimbello, oggetto di scherno
  • Portuguese: ludíbrio
  • Russian: посме́шище
  • Spanish: hazmerreír

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