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The person who is told off is "the whipping boy". A:"Did you tell the boss off?" B:"No, but John was with the boss when the boss made the mistake, so I told John off when he was with the boss." A:"Ah! So you used John as the boss's whipping boy." B:"Exactly - I think the boss got the message." OED: whipping-...


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to stuff, verb 2. a. To place forcefully into a container or space; thrust: "He stuffed money into the bag." Expedient: (noun) 2. Something contrived or used to meet an urgent need: "She joined the university football team by the simple expedient of standing on the field and refusing to move off."


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hidden agenda : an ulterior motive m-w I think the headword and its definition here could both work in your example, in fact: ulterior motive: a secret reason m-w


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How is the wh-word that questions manner, means, and adjective or adverb degree in direct wh-questions, with subject-auxiliary inversion (and do-support where necessary) How did he get through the barbed wire? How does she manage to keep so trim? How long is that pole? How rapidly should I breathe? and in embedded wh-questions, with no inversion (and ...


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