tales


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Related to tales: Thales, Pitagoras

old wives' tale

A now-debunked story or idea that was once believed, often superstitiously. How can you believe in that old wives' tale? Oh, that's just an old wives' tale! A broken mirror does not guarantee seven years' bad luck.
See also: old, tale

tall tale

A greatly exaggerated or particularly imaginative story or account of something, such that it is difficult to believe. My uncle has always been fond of telling tall tales about his time overseas. I used to believe him when I was a kid, but now I've learned to just laugh along.
See also: tale, tall

dead men tell no tales

Those who are dead cannot reveal secrets. The boss wants us to kill that guy because it's the only way we can guarantee his silence—dead men tell no tales, after all.
See also: dead, men, no, tales, tell

tell tales

To share secrets, often knowing that doing so will cause problems for someone else. Here's a tip: don't tell tales about your co-workers if you want to have any friends here.
See also: tales, tell

Dead men tell no tales.

Prov. Dead people will not betray any secrets. The club members liked to hold their secret meetings in a graveyard, since dead men tell no tales. Gangster: Mugsy is going to tell the police that we robbed the bank. How can we stop him? Henchman: Dead men tell no tales.
See also: dead, men, no, tales, tell

Never tell tales out of school.

Prov. Do not tell secrets; do not gossip. Fred: I just learned something really scandalous about the president of our company. Ellen: Well, I don't want to hear it. You shouldn't tell tales out of school.
See also: never, of, out, school, tales, tell

old wives' tale

Fig. a myth or superstition. You really don't believe that stuff about starving a cold do you? It's just an old wives' tale.
See also: old, tale

tell tales out of school

to tell secrets or spread rumors. I wish that John would keep quiet. He's telling tales out of school again. If you tell tales out of school a lot, people won't know when to believe you.
See also: of, out, school, tales, tell

old wives' tale

A superstition, as in Toads cause warts? That's an old wives' tale. This expression was already known in ancient Greece, and a version in English was recorded in 1387. Despite invoking bigoted stereotypes of women and old people, it survives.
See also: old, tale

tall tale

A fanciful or greatly exaggerated story, as in Some youngsters love tall tales about creatures from outer space coming to earth. This idiom uses tall in the sense of "exaggerated." [Mid-1800s]
See also: tale, tall

tell tales

Divulge secrets, as in Don't trust him; he's apt to tell tales. This expression was first recorded about 1350. A variant, tell tales out of school, first recorded in 1530, presumably alluded to schoolchildren gossiping but was soon broadened to revealing secret or private information. Both may be obsolescent.
See also: tales, tell

dead men tell no tales

People say dead men tell no tales to say that someone who is dead cannot give any information to anyone. His password was so secure that when he died, nobody could get into the database. And dead men tell no tales.
See also: dead, men, no, tales, tell

tell tales

If someone tells tales, they tell someone in authority about something bad or wrong that someone else has done. She had no right to tell tales to his mother! They try to get convicted criminals to tell tales on their mates in return for cuts in their own sentences. Note: This expression is used to show disapproval.
See also: tales, tell

tell tales (out of school)

gossip about or reveal another person's secrets, wrong-doings, or faults.
As telling tales to school authorities is a terrible offence in the eyes of schoolchildren, this expression is often used in the context of declining to supply information or gossip.
1991 Mark Tully No Full Stops in India Indira trusted me throughout her life, and just because she's dead it's not right that I should break that trust and tell tales about her.
See also: tales, tell

tell ˈtales (about somebody/something)

(British English) tell somebody, especially somebody in authority, that another person has done something wrong: How did the boss know that I was late for work this morning? I think somebody’s been telling tales about me.
See also: tales, tell

tell ˌtales out of ˈschool

talk about the private affairs of a group or an organization to people who do not belong to it: I shouldn’t tell tales out of school, but my company is in serious trouble.
See also: of, out, school, tales, tell
References in periodicals archive ?
Chapters one and two outline the history of the genre and perform close readings of a number of popular tales by writers such as Sarah Fielding.
Although this learning community connected two separate courses around the theme of fairy tales, the examples, assignments, and materials discussed in this paper address only one of the courses: HIS 105, World Civilizations I.
Unfortunately, this later history of fairy tales isn't examined in any depth by Beveridge, and is only given a few pages.
Her individual chapters trace these structural and psychoanalytical theories in the frame narratives and tales of Fragment I, as well as in the marriage group and the religious stories of the Canterbury Tales.
Finally, Chapters 7, 8, 9, and 10 deal broadly with the theme of "meaning" in fairy tales and how it might be ascertained through structure.
The first section contains the tales themselves, often new translations of French and Italian tales which highlights one of the focuses of the collection of the "creative interventions" made by the translators themselves (15).
In her third chapter, 'Science and Superstition, Realism and Romance: Fairy Tale and Fantasy in the Adult Shilling Monthly' Sumpter brings new insights to the fascination with fairy tales evident in Macmillan's Magazine and the Cornhill Magazine, two pioneering periodicals of the 1860s usually hailed for their domestic realism rather than their engagements with fantasy.
The story of what happens in these years to the poor and downtrodden in fairy tales is, at the same time, a story about the changes--and the continuities--that mark the transition from what I will call the modern period (the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries) to twentieth-century modernity.
While the West European writing of fairy tales and children's literature has more recently been explored in scholarship (see, e.
The chapter investigates the choices and effects of mixing fairy tales with other narrative genres, thereby foregrounding the topic of generic complexity in fairytale films.
At turns enchanting, scandalous and disgusting the tales unfold in a mixture of story and song as a collection of rogues, wenches and travellers tell stories to entertain each other on their pilgrimage.
of Minnesota and scholar of childrens literature and culture, presents a social history of Western literary fairy tales focusing on their transformation from "wonder folk tales" since the 15th century advent of the printing press.
Unlike the happily ever after that readers can count on in English fairy tales such as Beauty and the Beast and Little Red Riding Hood, Arabic fairy tales are slightly darker without the clear-cut romantic storyline.
The thematic issue on the fairy tale consists of eight articles: one on the Cuban fairy tale, one on tales by the Brothers Grimm, one on the Norwegian fairy tale and five on Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales.
Tales of Princes and Princesses Various illustrators