Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Agnes is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Zambia
      • Current Location:
      • Zambia
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    138
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default 'Sacrificial lamb'

    How can I best use 'sacrificial lamb'? In what context? I do have an idea but i am not sure of its rightness. If for example one gets the blame/purnishment or whatever for something they didn't do, because maybe they happened to be present at the scene of say, some crime I commit.( being framed for example). Would i then say, they were my sacrificial lamb?

  2. #2
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    15,506
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: 'Sacrificial lamb'

    Quote Originally Posted by Agnes View Post
    How can I best use 'sacrificial lamb'? In what context? I do have an idea but i am not sure of its rightness. If for example one gets the blame/purnishment or whatever for something they didn't do, because maybe they happened to be present at the scene of say, some crime I commit.( being framed for example). Would i then say, they were my sacrificial lamb?
    Nearly, but you got the wrong animal! A person who gets the blame for something he didn't do is a 'scapegoat'. A usage that isn't standard yet (I'm glad to say - although it is quite popular, especially with extremist politicians) is to make this a verb and use it in the passive: 'the working classes are always being scapegoated like this'.

    A 'sacrificial lamb' is just someone who is put into a position of fatal danger without realizing it, for no practical reason. A 'scapegoat' can ba a 'sacrificial lamb' but needn't be - there doesn't have to be any blame, just an appetite for blood.

    b

    ps FYI:
    The idea of a 'sacrificial lamb' (an offering of a live animal to a deity, usually in a ceremony) is referred to in the expression 'like lambs to the slaughter' - people who go willingly into a fatal position without knowing the fate that awaits them.

    On the day the factory was to be closed, all the workers - not knowing what to expect - went in to work like lambs to the slaughter.

  3. #3
    Agnes is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Zambia
      • Current Location:
      • Zambia
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    138
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: 'Sacrificial lamb'

    Sure did get the wrong animal I can see!!!! Thanks for the explanation!

  4. #4
    Agnes is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Zambia
      • Current Location:
      • Zambia
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    138
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: 'Sacrificial lamb'

    Is there a term for someone that's just being 'used' for for example to get at another person, or to get to a higher position at work?

  5. #5
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    19,448
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: 'Sacrificial lamb'

    Perhaps a "stalking horse"?

  6. #6
    curmudgeon's Avatar
    curmudgeon is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    1,658
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: 'Sacrificial lamb'

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    Perhaps a "stalking horse"?
    No, a stalking horse is a term used to describe someone who is used to flush out opposition (or support) it is often used in politics when there is a leadership race. The stalking horse (who is someone who has no chance of winning) is sent into the fray to polarise the sides in order that the credible candidates can then take up the challenge knowing what they are up against.

    Maybe a 'stooge' might be used to gain advantage

  7. #7
    mykwyner is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,047
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: 'Sacrificial lamb'

    A cat's paw is someone who is used as a dupe by another person who wishes to gain an advantage.

  8. #8
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    15,506
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: 'Sacrificial lamb'

    A 'patsy'?

    Incidentally, AmE has given us a useful word related to 'scapegoat'. Say four people have committed a crime, and three of them want the fourth to 'take the rap'; (maybe they just don't like him, or he has a cleaner record than the rest of them and so will get a lighter sentence, or something like that). So they frame him; he becomes the fall-guy.

    b
    ps - At least, I think it's AmE; it's got the right sort of pithiness and conciseness.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •