This article describes scapegoat in its traditional historical sense. For scapegoat in the more modern social psychological sense of scapegoating see scapegoating. In modern usage a scapegoat is an individual, group, or country singled out for unmerited negative treatment or blame. A whipping boy or “fall guy” is a form of scapegoat. Scapegoat derives from the common English translation of the Hebrew term azazel which occurs in Leviticus 16:8 after the prefix la- (Hebrew לַ “for”).
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