fish story

noun Informal.
an exaggerated or incredible story: It was just another one of his fish stories.

1810–20, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Slang Dictionary

fish story definition

and fish tale
  1. n.
    a great big lie. (Like the fisherman who exaggerates the size of the fish that got away.) : All we got was a fish story about his luck with the girls. What a liar! , He's a master at the fish tale. Maybe he should be a politician.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

fish story

An improbable, boastful tale, as in He came up with some fish story about his winnings at the track. This expression alludes to the tendency of fishermen to exaggerate the size of their catch. [Early 1800s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
For instance, the famous dead-fish story mentioned in the piece has been mentioned in countless profiles.
So we're the country of tall tales and also of the fish story.
The fish story is always about the one that got away.
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