tall tale

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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

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

a tall tale


a tall story

COMMON A tall tale or a tall story is a very exciting or extreme event that someone tells you about but that you think is probably not true. He was very convincing, and some of his college chums believed his tall tales. `She told my guests a tall story about our relationship,' he said. `She claimed we'd been in love three years.' Note: `Tall' used to be used to describe language that was considered extremely formal or exaggerated.
See also: tale, tall
References in periodicals archive ?
Tall tales are often based on characters who are unusually adept or powerful; they are particularly appealing to children who are cognitively capable of understanding the tongue-in-cheek humor associated with the antics and absurd claims of its characters.
Whatever we decide to call Chabon's lecture--magic trick, embellished memoir, or tall tale spiked with bits of truth--matters less than the nature of the trick itself.
Tall Tale passed the post in fourth but was disqualified.
In tall tales, sketches, short stories, romances, plays, and even poems, he was a symbol of the boastfulness, playfulness, physical strength, and violence of frontiersmen.
See my essay "The Art of Tall Tale in the Slim Greer Poems.
An objective accounting will note that Rivlin's brave protests had zero impact on either the president's health-care debacle or on The Tall Tale he told regarding the federal deficit.
is filled with humorous, colorful tall tale exaggerations and expressions and funny, zany, expressive illustrations.
Suspend all willingness to disbelieve and accept that this is a very tall tale.
The name of the painting even gives a clue to the gag -`yarn' meaning tall tale and `winder' as in wind-up.
According to Robert San Souci's Cut From the Same Cloth: American Women of Myth, Legend, and Tall Tale, Annie Christmas was a black woman, longshoreman, fighter, and gambler.
Peters' satiric lies and Franklin's satirical reply expose the source of the tall tale in a wish to trick a reader or listener into belief in a deception.
Poetic license is granted without request for sheer enjoyment of this delightful tall tale of impossibilities.
Inconsequential perhaps, but no doubt aspects of the tall tale may well amuse the emerging young reader.
HERE'S A TALL TALE about a tall tale: Walt Disney's body--allegedly suspended in cryogenic slumber--is stashed somewhere on the campus of the California Institute of the Arts.