cock and bull story

cock-and-bull story

[kok-uhn-bool]
noun
an absurd, improbable story presented as the truth: Don't ask him about his ancestry unless you want to hear a cock-and-bull story.

Origin:
1600–10; probably with orig. reference to some fable in which a cock and bull figure

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World English Dictionary
cock-and-bull story
 
n
informal an obviously improbable story, esp a boastful one or one used as an excuse

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

cock-and-bull story definition


A story that is false: “When John came home at 3:30 a.m., he gave his mother some cock-and-bull story about having a flat tire on the way home.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

cock and bull story

An unbelievable tale that is intended to deceive; a tall tale. For example, Jack told us some cock and bull story about getting lost. This expression may come from a folk tale involving these two animals, or from the name of an English inn where travelers told such tales. W.S. Gilbert used it in The Yeomen of the Guard (1888), where Jack Point and Wilfred the Jailer make up a story about the hero's fictitious death: "Tell a tale of cock and bull, Of convincing detail full." [c. 1600]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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