scapegoat » scrapegoat

Variant(s):  scrape-goat, scrape goat

Classification: English

Spotted in the wild:

  • Far as I care they are all guilty but CBS and Lockhart are looking to put the blame on Burkett who is a great scrapegoat for just the reason you posted. (link)
  • I doubt that pointing the finger at our intelligence service will do much good except give people an undeserving scrapegoat and waste a lot of time. (link)
  • This point tries to make homosexuality a scrapegoat by inclusion with the failings of heterosexuals. (link)
  • Do you think Tice might end up being a scrape goat? (link)
  • Within two weeks PRI Congressman Manuel Munoz Rocha was linked to the assassination - strongly believed to be the scrape goat of a powerful group. (link)
  • In the past year, I see a couple of scrape-goat actions resulting in teachers that have taught math for a long time no longer teaching math next year. (link)

A contributor to Pseudodictionary defines “scrapegoat” as “the person designated to bear not only blame, but also punishment.”

In the song “Ballad in Plain D” (1964), Bob Dylan is heard to sing: “The constant scrapegoat, she was easily undone / By the jealousy of others around her.”

Ken Lakritz notes the similar eggcorn scapegrace » scrapegrace in the contributions section.

See also scapegoat » escape goat.

| link | entered by Ben Zimmer, 2005/04/13 |


  1. 1

    Commentary by J. David , 2005/04/23 at 5:31 am

    underminds -> undermines

  2. 2

    Commentary by Mike , 2006/10/09 at 3:53 am

    I think the first time this made public notice was when Lee Harvey Oswald’s mother, Marguerite Oswald, used it when claiming her son was innocent of the assasination of JFK.

    TIME Magazine, Feb. 21, 1964
    Determined to defend her son’s name, Marguerite Oswald last week delivered a monologue before the Warren Commission in Washington. …. Away from the commission’s hearing room, she held court for reporters. “I can talk for hours,” she said. She insisted that Lee Oswald had been an agent for the Central Intelligence Agency, and that he “had been set up to take the blame” for the Kennedy assassination. He was the scapegoat, she said, mispronouncing it as “scrapgoat.” (tho I recall it as “scrapegoat”)

    When Dylan used it in his Ballad in Plain D it was unclear if it was intentional or an unconscious reference. But jarring, nonetheless. He clearly articulates and empahsizes the word. Note that on the Bob Dylan website, the lyrics for the song show it as “scapegoat”, suggesting its original use may not have been intentional.

  3. 3

    Commentary by RAY CHENERY , 2006/10/09 at 8:51 pm

    Bob Dylan does indeed sing “scrapegoat” in ‘Ballad in Plain D’, but his printed lyrics of the song have “scapegoat”.

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