snipe hunt

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snipe hunt

n.
1. An elaborate practical joke in which an unsuspecting person takes part in a bogus hunt for a snipe, typically being left alone in the dark with instructions not to move until the snipe appears.
2. A futile search or endeavor.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.snipe hunt - an elaborate practical joke in which the unsuspecting victim hunts a snipe and is typically left in the dark holding a bag and waiting for the snipe to run into it; "in the South a snipe hunt is practically a rite of passage"
practical joke - a prank or trick played on a person (especially one intended to make the victim appear foolish)
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References in periodicals archive ?
In fact, I was all but convinced it was just that--an expedition in snipe hunting (the mythical creature of the night, not the marsh bird) played as a hilarious joke on Joe's impressionable, young friend.
Okay, no doubt you've heard of the snipe hunting gag and the term "bag" limit even reinforces the idea of the joke because the novice is supposed to catch the birds at night in a bag or pillow case while the guys playing the joke leave him alone in the swamp, but snipe are real birds and truly fun to pursue in the daytime.
There are entertaining footnotes about a range of subjects, from the origin of the "slow food movement" to parrot-tongue pie and snipe hunting, all penned in what might be called vintage Wilk style.
Real snipe hunting was a popular sport in the 1800s, and some reports claimed that North American hunters harvested more snipes than any other game 'bird, including waterfowl.
And, as with snipe hunting, when faux dog and badger fights were covered by the press, newspaper reports of such entertainments rarely exposed the details of the hoax so as not to spoil the fun for future practical jokers.