fairy tale

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fairy tale

1. noun A lie or fabricated account of something (likened to a clearly fictional fantasy story). I know he's telling me fairy tales to avoid admitting his mistakes.
2. adjective Resembling a fantasy story, especially due to being entirely positive or happy or having a happy ending. In this usage, the phrase is usually hyphenated. I really want a fairy-tale wedding, complete with a beautiful gown and a fancy cake. It wasn't some fairy-tale marriage, you know. We had our problems.
See also: fairy, tale
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

fairy tale

and bedtime story
n. a simplistic and condescending explanation for something; a lie. I don’t want to hear a fairy tale, just the facts, ma’am. I’ve already heard your little bedtime story. You’ll have to do better than that!
See also: fairy, tale
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
However, it is not really a fairy-tale but a fantastic story, a comic fantasy in verse.
The first real fairy-tale Andersen published was DAdningen (The Dead Man), which concluded his collection of poems from 1830, Digte.
The second chapter looks at the representations of books, the act of reading, and the gendered child in the fairy-tale films of Disney's Enchanted, Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth, Catherine Breillat's Bluebeard, and Pil-Sung Yim's Hansel and Gretel.
In Chapter Three, Bacchilega revisits the big-budget films Enchanted and Pan's Labyrinth but also discusses two independent films that bring different investments to the fairy-tale remix: Year of the Fish (Dir.
Bacchilega's insightful discussion juxtaposes translation as adaptation and adaptation as translation, focusing on ways in which adaptations of The Arabian Nights contest the vilification of Arabs (or not) and the subordination of exoticized wonder to fairy-tale hegemony.
After suggesting that more research needs to be done about wonder in today's fairy tales, she urges fairy-tale scholars to intensify our attention to the significance of orality and epistemologies in multimedia fairy-tale traditions.
is a model of scholarship highly recommended to anyone interested in fairy-tale studies and modern fairy-tale adaptations.
While Ziolkowski focuses on Bottigheimer's rejection of oral wonder tales that stem from antiquity, the middle ages, and Eastern traditions, Francisco Vazda Silva questions the accuracy and authenticity of Bottigheimer's biographical depiction of Straparola and then shows how she not only created a fictitious biography which depicts the unknown Italian author as a fairy-tale hero inventing fairy tales, but she also invented her own history of storytelling that excludes 95% of the European population from creating and disseminating tales in an oral tradition.
Le piacevoli notti thus became a source for literary fairy-tale writers who did not have direct access to oral tradition." (12)
However, as Ziolkowski, Vaz da Silva, and Ben-Amos reveal, there is more than sufficient documentation about storytelling and texts that indicates a long tradition of oral wonder tales that incorporated fairy-tale motifs, topoi, characters, and patterns.
Whether the fairy-tale genre is considered exclusively within European and literary history, or as a genre whose ties to expressive cultures and comparative literatures are inflected by global dynamics, has significant implications for ascribing a place for lay and subaltern knowledges in history." (30)
Tales were not named or categorized according to genre, but it is clear that most of the fairy-tale motifs, topoi, characters, plots, and conventions existed in oral traditions (and some continue to do so) long before learned people learned how to write and categorize narratives.