My learner and I were talking about people baring the blame for others in some instances and I told her we call this kind of person “A scapegoat“, eager to learn how to spell the new vocabulary, she repeated “escape goat” .
She emphasized the idiom by imitating the animal running away. I therefore, spelled the word for her and we both starting laughing at the funny misunderstanding.
Scapegoat has an interesting etymology. Originally, it is a Biblical reference, to Leviticus 16. The scapegoat was a goat let loose in the wilderness on Yom Kippur after the high priest symbolically laid the sins of the people on its head. The usual sense now, ‘a person or group made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place’, is a figurative use of the Biblical meaning.
p.s. this post was created by EVA…who had a good laugh with her learner this time around.