live to tell the tale

live to tell the tale

To suffer through a harrowing, frightening, or dangerous situation and still be alive afterwards. Often used hyperbolically or humorously. Don't worry, the drop might be a bit scary, but we'll make sure you live to tell the tale. I had to spend the holidays with my in-laws, but I lived to tell the tale!
See also: live, tale, tell, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

live to tell the tale

If someone lives to tell the tale, they survive a dangerous or frightening experience. Michael Sproule was attacked by a shark. He lived to tell the tale but had to have emergency surgery for serious cuts to his hands and legs. At 20 miles per hour a pedestrian could escape death but at 40 miles per hour the chances of living to tell the tale are small.
See also: live, tale, tell, to
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

live to tell the tale

survive a dangerous experience and be able to tell others about it.
See also: live, tale, tell, to
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

live to tell the ˈtale

(informal, often humorous) survive a terrible experience: Only one man out of fifteen lived to tell the tale.It will be a difficult experience, but I expect you’ll live to tell the tale!
See also: live, tale, tell, to
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
See also:
References in classic literature ?
"Very few men could go through what I have and live to tell the tale. And I never took any care of myself.
We are eternally grateful that on this occasion our colleague will live to tell the tale."
Can he finally nail arms dealer Roper and live to tell the tale?
Some will lose their battle, others will live to tell the tale and seek justice for those they have loved and lost."
But I feel that sometimes the biggest problem with making '''' bad'''' decisions about our health is that we become desensitised to the impact they have because the first time we make them, we live to tell the tale.
Can they pull off a pounds 10 million con and live to tell the tale? SUNDAY Upstairs Downstairs BBC1, 9.30pm It's not quite Downton Abbey, but it's still good, even without Eileen Atkins who quit.
A LAD of 11 watched his father fall 100ft down England's tallest mountain - and live to tell the tale.
The 31-year-old even took the woman's "body" to a farm track where he hauled her out of his car and into a ditch - only for her to "live to tell the tale".
The Europeans and Japanese might be content driving economical little boxes, the thinking went, but no one would be able to stand between Americans and the gas pump--and live to tell the tale.
But at least if they do get hit at a lower speed, they will probably live to tell the tale.
Nero, but they can make such journeys in the imagination, ask the hard questions, and live to tell the tale ...
But I knew if the rocket landed close enough then I simply wouldn't live to tell the tale. Seconds passed and then the all-clear was given.
He said: "It may seem like it will never happen to you, but fire can happen anywhere and to anyone and the only way that you will live to tell the tale is if you have a working smoke alarm to give early warning of a fire in the home."
Everyone knows the story, and everyone can relate to it: children, who are fascinated by the idea of a giant man-eating whale, and adults, who are fascinated by a prophet who shows such cheek and disrespect to the Lord God and manages to live to tell the tale.