A whipping boy is a person who is blamed and/or punished for the failings of others. A whipping boy is a fall guy, a scapegoat. Whipping boy was an official position in the English royal court during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. A high-born boy was chosen to be the companion to a royal prince, he was educated with the prince and received many of the privileges of royalty. However, if the prince committed a transgression, the whipping boy was punished in his stead. The philosophy was that if a prince saw his friend punished for infractions that he, the prince, had committed, the prince would suffer greatly and be sure to behave. A commoner such as a tutor could not lay a hand on a royal prince, whose position was supposedly ordained by God. The use of a whipping boy solved this problem.
PAS using Amanah as whipping boy, pushing ‘cold storage’ members to join splinter group (The Malaysian Insider)
“Netflix is using [the new cards] as a whipping boy for their customer attrition,” Julie Conroy, a payments analyst at Aite Group, told Bloomberg. (The Crestview News-Bulletin)
This, of course, referring to Cameron’s unbelievable tirade against Labour’s current ‘whipping boy’ leader Jeremy Corbyn. (The Grantham Journal)
Sam represents as a catalyst and whipping boy for political dissension and racial animosity. (The News & Observer)
Since being paired with Dan Hamhuis, Matt Bartkowski has accomplished a truly remarkable feat: he’s replaced Luca Sbisa as the fans’ whipping boy on the Canucks blueline. (The Vancouver Courier)
“We know there is strong support for academic selection here and it is protected in legislation. It is disappointing however that selection is so often used as a whipping-boy by its opponents to explain every problem within the education system” (The Belfast Newsletter)