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1. A scapegoat.
2. A boy formerly raised with a prince or other young nobleman and whipped for the latter's misdeeds.
a person of little importance who is blamed for the errors, incompetence, etc, of others, esp his superiors; scapegoat
[C17: originally referring to a boy who was educated with a prince and who received punishment for any faults committed by the prince]
1. a person who is made to bear the blame for another's mistake; scapegoat.
2. (formerly) a boy educated along with and taking punishment in place of a young prince or nobleman.
whipping boy- Meaning "scapegoat," the phrase derives from the boy formerly raised with a prince or other young nobleman and whipped for the latter's misdeeds.
See also related terms for prince.