lie like a tombstone

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lie like a tombstone

To tell an untruth. Epitaphs written on headstones often exaggerate the deceased's relationships, accomplishments, and even personal data. The dearly departed may not in fact have been “beloved by his family” or “a brave soldier” or even born in the year in which he did indeed first see the light of day. Therefore, “here lies” can have a dual meaning.
See also: lie, like
References in classic literature ?
After darkly looking at his leg and me several times, he came closer to my tombstone, took me by both arms, and tilted me back as far as he could hold me; so that his eyes looked most powerfully down into mine, and mine looked most helplessly up into his.
The dear George, now striding towards them over the tombstones, seemed both pitiable and absurd.
I think that quite the most touching sight in the Gardens is the two tombstones of Walter Stephen Matthews and Phoebe Phelps.
Some of the tombstones recorded dates of the sixteenth century.
It was an affecting illustration of the fallacy of human projects, to behold her lover, with the great hat pulled over his eyes, the velvet collar turned up as if it rained, the plum-coloured coat buttoned to conceal the silken waistcoat of golden sprigs, and the little direction-post pointing inexorably home, creeping along by the worst back-streets, and composing, as he went, the following new inscription for a tombstone in St George's Churchyard:
The hat was covered with the white frost; and the goblin looked as if he had sat on the same tombstone very comfortably, for two or three hundred years.
To this Mr Codlin, who had a surly, grumbling manner, replied, as he twitched Punch off the tombstone and flung him into the box,
Between it and the town there is another church, the parish one, round which is a big graveyard, all full of tombstones.
Wherefore have we come hither to set up our own tombstones in a wilderness?
We skirted around two-thirds of the island, four miles from shore, and all the opera glasses in the ship were called into requisition to settle disputes as to whether mossy spots on the uplands were groves of trees or groves of weeds, or whether the white villages down by the sea were really villages or only the clustering tombstones of cemeteries.
It was icy underground in the cemetery at Montparnasse among all those white tombstones.
In the second act there was scenery representing tombstones, there was a round hole in the canvas to represent the moon, shades were raised over the footlights, and from horns and contrabass came deep notes while many people appeared from right and left wearing black cloaks and holding things like daggers in their hands.
There's a big stone wall and a row of enormous trees all around it, and rows of trees all through it, and the queerest old tombstones, with the queerest and quaintest inscriptions.
Dorothy ran over to the little graves and read the words engraved upon the tombstones.
In a suit of coarse flannel with horn buttons, a yellow neckerchief with draggled ends, an old hat more russet-coloured than black, and laced boots of the hue of his stony calling, Durdles leads a hazy, gipsy sort of life, carrying his dinner about with him in a small bundle, and sitting on all manner of tombstones to dine.