Shaggy-dog Story Definition

shăgē-dôg, -dŏg
A long, rambling joke or anecdote involving strange or absurd incidents and regarded as ultimately pointless.
Webster's New World

A long-winded tale or yarn featuring extensive narration of typically irrelevant details, usually resulting in a pointless or absurd punchline, which is often a pun or Spoonerism on a known catchphrase.


Other Word Forms of Shaggy-dog Story


shaggy-dog story

Origin of Shaggy-dog Story

  • Uncertain; prob. from one of two jokes, one in which a protracted search for an alleged remarkably shaggy, talking dog ends in the discovery of the dog which, though it can indeed talk, is disappointingly not so shaggy after all; or one in which an even more protracted search for the shaggiest dog in the world ends in the utterly anticlimactic punchline "Now that's a shaggy dog!".

    From Wiktionary

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