People often ask others not to make them the ‘butt of a joke.’ Perhaps someone has asked you this very question. If so, and you are wondering what it means, this guide will help.
The ‘butt of a joke’ is the target or focus of mockery or the person being ridiculed, bullied, or teased. We explain more about this guide, which contains definitions, meanings, examples, and usage tips.
The 'butt of a joke' is the target. If someone calls you the 'butt of a joke,' they mean that you are the focus of the ridiculing.
In this saying, ‘butt’ is derived from the French word ‘but’ used to describe the target of an arrow. The ‘butt’ in ‘butt of a joke’ means the target or aim.
A ‘joke’ is a story someone tells, typically with a punchline meant to make people laugh. In this saying, ‘joke’ can also mean bullying, ridiculing, mocking, or taunting, often done in a group setting.
People commonly say ‘butt of a joke’ when they ask others to stop making fun of them or when they are defending someone else. For example:
‘Butt of a joke’ is likely to have originated shortly after the 13th century when the French used 'but' to describe the aim of an archery arrow. The saying may have even been 'but of a joke' at one time and changed over the centuries to become 'butt' with two t's.
Numerous sayings convey the same message as the saying 'butt of a joke.' Here are a few:
Now that you know the meaning of this popular phrase, let's take a look at the usage examples below:
Conversational Example One:
Conversational Example Two:
Well-known figures of speech like 'woot woot,' 'on a side note,' 'canary in a coal mine,' and 'who dares wins' can help you connect with your audience and creatively convey your message. In fact, many journalists and writers utilize idioms to make a point or grab their audience's attention. Here are a few tips to help you use idioms successfully.
Knowing how to use idioms correctly will help to prevent you from becoming the 'butt of a joke.' Using figures of speech incorrectly gives your audience the impression that you are unknowledgeable and leaves you open to ridicule. So, do not cut corners. Always verify the meanings of unfamiliar terms before using them, whether you are using them in a professional or personal setting.