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vil
Posted: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 11:11:22 AM
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Joined: 9/8/2010
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Location: Bulgaria
Would you share with me your opinion concerning the interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentences?

It was hard to tell where you stood with Eddy and I was careful not to become a laughing-stock for his pals.

Sri Lanka has become the laughing stock of the cricketing world, says former cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga.

Has Britain become a laughing stock in the eyes of the World?

laughing-stock = an object of jokes or ridicule; a butt

Thank you for your efforts.
bturpin
Posted: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 11:20:19 AM
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Location: Memphis, USA
Your definition has pretty much got it right. A laughing stock is someone or group that is not taken seriously.
excaelis
Posted: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 11:49:07 AM

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A stock was a piece of wood to which something could be fixed, like a butt. I imagine the image was that you could not move to escape ridicule. Earliest citations are Sir Philip Sidney, An apologie for poetrie, and John Frith, An other boke against Rastel ( an apparently unpopular chap ), both from 1533.
dtpostel
Posted: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 12:24:55 PM
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Joined: 7/16/2009
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I was wondering if the term was related to the medieval punishment device that fitted about ones ankles and/or wrist. Further investigation led me to an education. See url:

http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/laughing-stock.html
excaelis
Posted: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 1:55:11 PM

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Aha ! John Rastell was Sir Thomas More's brother-in-law. Frith ( a member of the English reformers allied to Tymdale et al ) objected to their views on transubstantiation and purgatory. Their disagreement was settled when Frith was burned at the stake at Smithfield in 1533. Now I know.
chuckc4th
Posted: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 11:14:39 PM
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Joined: 5/26/2009
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Location: United States
laughing stock - stock-in-trade of comedians. The butt of all jokes.
Alias
Posted: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 1:16:42 AM
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Joined: 10/12/2010
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Location: Australia
excaelis wrote:
Aha ! John Rastell was Sir Thomas More's brother-in-law. Frith ( a member of the English reformers allied to Tymdale et al ) objected to their views on transubstantiation and purgatory. Their disagreement was settled when Frith was burned at the stake at Smithfield in 1533. Now I know.



Now that is the way to settle a disagreement! ...We should introduce it here at TFD..(laughs)
blueberry
Posted: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 5:21:14 AM
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Joined: 10/1/2009
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