Definition of shaggy-dog story in English:

shaggy-dog story


  • A long, rambling story or joke, typically one that is amusing only because it is absurdly inconsequential or pointless.

    • ‘His stage persona was that of a man who had wandered into the wrong place but was determined to carry on as if he had made no mistake, while his stage patter often had the air of a shaggy-dog story.’
    • ‘Great use of sound, lighting and camera angles draw you in to this absurdly eerie little shaggy-dog story.’
    • ‘Still later, I was childishly confident that America had been invented by mean-spirited grown-ups as the setting for innumerable jokes and shaggy-dog stories that were wildly popular in my circle of acquaintances and friends.’
    • ‘Jests are silly, and some of the silliest are shaggy-dog stories.’
    • ‘The book of Jonah's quite funny if you read it as a theological shaggy-dog story rather than as an accurate biographical account of a man who was eaten by a big fish.’
    • ‘The renovation threatened to be a shaggy-dog story itself, as the couple moved their lives from room to room while the place took shape over the years.’
    • ‘Best of all, the hotel bar is reckoned to be the room where Coleridge first recited his Rime of the Ancient Mariner, the greatest shaggy-dog story ever told.’
    • ‘The pleasure comes from the journey rather than the arrival - a shaggy-dog story without the Beethoven punch line.’
    • ‘The blogger says the story about the Northwest flight is just a ‘scarily well-written shaggy-dog story.’’
    • ‘‘And he was always good for a wry, shaggy-dog story - some unprintable but always funny,’ continued Estabrook, who shared train rides with him to early convention sites.’


shaggy-dog story

/ˌʃaɡɪˈdɒɡ stɔːri/