a cock-and-bull story

a cock-and-bull story

  (informal)
a story or explanation which is obviously not true She told me some cock-and-bull story about her car breaking down.
See also: story
References in classic literature ?
Humorous half-columns in the local papers, written in the customary silly way by unlicked cub reporters just out of grammar school, tickled the fancy of San Francisco for a fleeting moment in that the steamship Mariposa had rescued some sea-waifs possessed of a cock-and-bull story that not even the reporters believed.
I remember in particular his telling the Dolly's crew what proved to be literally a cock-and-bull story, about two natural prodigies which he said were then on the island.
Farm hand Peter Kelly said: ``This isn't a cock-and-bull story, it's a very intelligent hen and for some reason really likes football.
Vikings at Raiders (-6-1/2): When Raiders officials quizzed K Cole Ford about missing a critical 28-yard field goal last week, he gave them a cock-and-bull story about ``my foot falling asleep.
Speaking as a former teacher of history, if a first-year student of mine had presented me with a cock-and-bull story like this, I'd give them an F for accuracy, but an A+ for invention and creativity.
When this Moses, fleeing for his life after killing an Egyptian, arrives at the well where the daughters of the priest of Midian are being tormented by shepherds, he frightens the men off not by threatening them but by concocting a cock-and-bull story more suitable to Woody Allen than Heston or Lancaster.