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cock-and-bull story

[kok-uh n-boo l] /ˈkɒk ənˈbʊl/
noun
1.
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 of cock-and-bull story
1600-1610
1600-10; probably with orig. reference to some fable in which a cock and bull figure
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for cock-and-bull story
Historical Examples
  • The old man's voice: "Where did you get hold of that cock-and-bull story?"

    Five Tales John Galsworthy
  • Here, what do you mean by that cock-and-bull story, Dick Dellow?

    Old Gold George Manville Fenn
  • Think you we are all fools to believe in your cock-and-bull story?

    The Tangled Skein Emmuska Orczy, Baroness Orczy
  • If it hadn't been for his cock-and-bull story we shouldn't ha' done what we did.

  • How much do you suppose I believed of that cock-and-bull story you told me, about your being the light-of-love of a prince?

    Ragna Anna Miller Costantini
  • What cock-and-bull story have you got hold of now, I wonder?

    A Country Sweetheart Dora Russell
  • They ask me if I think they've nothing better to do than attend to "every cock-and-bull story" that is brought to them.

  • And pray, whom do you expect to delude with this cock-and-bull story?

    Lochinvar S. R. Crockett
  • Your mother told me yesterday of some cock-and-bull story concerning the Anna Maria or some such vessel.

    Dead Man's Rock Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • "And I suppose yours was a cock-and-bull story, too," he said.

    In the Fog Richard Harding Davis
British Dictionary definitions for cock-and-bull story

cock-and-bull story

noun
1.
(informal) an obviously improbable story, esp a boastful one or one used as an excuse
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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cock-and-bull story in Culture

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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Slang definitions & phrases for cock-and-bull story

cock-and-bull story

noun phrase

An improbable account, often an alibi; a mendacious farrago: He gives me this cock-and-bull story about six flat tires

[1620+; origin uncertain; the French term ''cock and donkey'' is analogous]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Difficulty index for cock-and-bull story

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Word Value for cock

12
14
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