What is butt against?

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Famous quotes containing the word butt:

    Unfortunately the laughter of adults too often carries to the ears of the young the ring of ridicule, that annihilating enemy of human dignity. Like grownups, children enjoy participating in a joke and appreciate admiration of their wit and cleverness, but do not enjoy being the butt of the jokes
    Leontine Young (20th century)

    Johnson did not answer ...; but talking for victory and determined to be master of the field, he had recourse to the device which Goldsmith imputed to him in the witty words of one of Cibber’s comedies. “There is no arguing with Johnson; for when his pistol misses fire, he knocks you down with the butt end of it.”
    Samuel Johnson (1709–1784)