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Old 01-17-2018, 12:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Innula Zenovka's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2009
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"Whipping boys" are fake news!

I saw this in The Times -- thought people might be interested:
Quote:
The term “whipping boy” has been a byword for a scapegoat for more than 300 years.

The explanation for the phrase, popularised by Mark Twain in his story The Prince and the Pauper, is that Edward VI and Charles I could not be punished by their schoolmasters because of the divine status of the monarchy. Instead, a prince would be taught alongside another boy who would be whipped for the royal pupil’s mischief in the hope that he would feel discomfort at another’s pain.

These royal origins are attested by such august sources as the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and a chief curator of Historic Royal Palaces. The problem, as the BBC conceded last month when a historian complained about its education website, is that it appears to be a canard with no primary evidence..
Further details here (Evernote link because paywall.)
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