cock-and-bull story


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.

cock-and-bull story

A wildly exaggerated or falsified story or explanation. When I questioned Wendy about her recent tardiness, she gave me some cock-and-bull story about how her train took the wrong track and she had to hitchhike to work from the station across town.
See also: story

cock-and-bull story

a hard-to-believe, made-up story; a story that is a lie. Don't give me that cock-and-bull story. I asked for an explanation, and all I got was your ridiculous cock-and-bull story!
See also: story

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]
See also: and, bull, cock, story

a cock-and-bull story

a ridiculous and implausible story.
The expression ‘talk of a cock and a bull’ is recorded from the early 17th century, and apparently refers to an original story or fable which is now lost.
See also: story
References in periodicals archive ?
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.
Try to contain your surprise then, when instead of a receipt, Val returns with a black eye and a cock-and-bull story about a gang of youths in hoodies.