phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: Straw Argument

Posted by S. on March 18, 2003

In Reply to: Re: Straw Argument posted by James Briggs on March 18, 2003

: : Is the term "straw argument" just short-hand for the "straw man" logical fallacy, described on the Web page linked to below?

: : Thanks for any assistance.

: It might help to remember what a 'Straw man' was originally.

: In my 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, a man of straw was a hired hand, so called from having straw stuck in his shoes to distinguish him. Presumably he had no chance of offering any sort of opinion to his employers.
: Another possible origin comes from the "Straw Men" who loitered near English courts with a straw in one of their shoes - thus indicating that they were prepared to give false evidence in return for a fee; they also didn't have opinions of their own.

I always thought that the "straw man" in question was simply an effigy or scare-crow.