Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A tale of personal hardship or misfortune intended to arouse pity.
  • n. A maudlin plea given as an explanation or a rationalization.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A sad story, especially one intended to elicit sympathy.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a sentimental story (or drama) of personal distress; designed to arouse sympathy

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • I had the rodent down,, under my paw, when she began spieling out a sob story about a litter of munchkins at home.

    Changeling

Comments

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  • "If you've had an accident or have an acute illness, even a bad cold, check into the emergency room of any hospital. Given them a sob story complete with phony name and address. After treatment they present you with a slip and direct you to the cashier. Just walk on by, as the song suggests. A good decoy is to ask for the washroom. After waiting there a few moments, split. If you're caught sneaking out, tell them you ran out of the house without your wallet. Ask them to bill you at your phony address. This billing procedure works in both hospital emergency rooms and clinics. You can keep going back for repeated visits up to three months before the cashier's office tells the doctor about your fractured payments."
    - Abbie Hoffman, 'Steal This Book'.

    February 18, 2009