shaggy-dog story

Use Shaggy-dog story in a sentence

shaggy-dog story

[shag-ee-dawg, -dog]
noun
a funny story, traditionally about a talking dog, that, after an often long and involved narration of unimportant incidents, has an absurd or irrelevant punch line.

Origin:
1945–50

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

shaggy-dog story

A long drawn-out anecdote with an absurd or anticlimactic ending. For example, At first he had us laughing wildly at his shaggy-dog stories, but after the third or fourth we found them tiresome. The term alludes to a well-known series of such stories, which involved a talking dog. [c. 1940]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
If not exactly a deliberate swindle, it is an endlessly repeated put-on, a shaggy-dog story without a punch line.
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