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shaggy-dog story

[shag-ee-dawg, -dog] /ˈʃæg iˈdɔg, -ˈdɒg/
noun
1.
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
1945-1950
1945-50
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for shaggy-dog story
  • If not exactly a deliberate swindle, it is an endlessly repeated put-on, a shaggy-dog story without a punch line.
Idioms and Phrases with shaggy-dog story

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® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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