sad sack

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An incompetent or inept person.

Etymology:

  • US 1920s. Popularized by Sad Sack, a cartoon character and eponymous comic strip published originally June 1942 in Yank, the Army Weekly, a US Army publication for soldiers, and later syndicated in the US 1940s and 1950s. Presumably from vulgar “sad sack of shit”; Cartoonist Sgt. George Baker said he took from a “longer phrase, of a derogatory nature”. The term originally referred to a well-meaning but inept soldier.
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One law enforcement official played down Mr. Defreitas’s ability to carry out an attack, calling him “a sad sack” and “not a Grade A terrorist.”

Submitted on July 10, 2018

Additional definitions for 'sad sack':

sad sackA perennial victim of misfortune.
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Nearby phrases

Some more phrases from our dictionary similar to sad sack

How to pronounce this phrase?

  1. Alex
    Alex
    US English
    Daniel
    Daniel
    British
    Karen
    Karen
    Australian
    Veena
    Veena
    Indian

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"sad sack." Phrases.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 24 Feb. 2020. <https://www.phrases.com/phrase/sad-sack_26429>.

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