noun: One blamed for anothers wrongdoing.
verb tr.: To blame someone for anothers wrongdoing.

ETYMOLOGY: As sometimes happens with ancient books, this term arose as a misreading of a word as Hebrew ez ozel (goat that departs) for what was, in fact, the proper noun Azazel, apparently a name for a demon. The explanation given in Leviticus 16:8 is that one casts ones sins on a goat and lets it escape into the wilderness. Earliest documented use: 1530.


SCAREGOAT - a mannikin meant to frighten other animals out of the vegetable patch

SCAPEMOAT - a hybrid protective feature surrounding a castle, meant to help the inhabitants swim away

SCAPEGOAL - Pete Carroll, at least this week