escape goat

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Nov 5 21:20:45 UTC 2012

At 11/5/2012 03:53 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole wrote:
>[Begin excerpt]
>The concept of the "scapegoat" is in the Bible, in Leviticus, as part
>of the ritual of atonement. The word "scape-goat" itself, though, did
>not appear until 1530, according to The Oxford English Dictionary: "In
>the Mosaic ritual of the Day of Atonement (Lev. xvi), that one of two
>goats that was chosen by lot to be sent alive into the wilderness, the
>sins of the people having been symbolically laid upon it, while the
>other was appointed to be sacrificed." That first goat escaped death,
>though it was loaded with sin. Since "scape" was merely a spelling
>variation of "escape," it was, literally, an "escape goat."
>[End excerpt]

Better to be the blamed, punished [e]scape goat than the blameless
but execution-style executed (albeit with knife rather than gun)
sacrifice goat.  Unless one gets to enjoy 72 virgin does.


The American Dialect Society -

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