Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Best Internet Slang

cock-and-bull story

[kok-uh n-boo l] /ˈkɒk ənˈbʊl/
noun
1.
an absurd, improbable story presented as the truth:
Don't ask him about his ancestry unless you want to hear a cock-and-bull story.
Origin of cock-and-bull story
1600-1610
First recorded in 1600-10; probably with orig. reference to some fable in which a cock and bull figure
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for cock-and-bull story
Historical Examples
  • "It's no cock-and-bull story you'll find it," asserted the Irishman.

    Frank Merriwell's Pursuit Burt L. Standish
  • The old man's voice: "Where did you get hold of that cock-and-bull story?"

    Five Tales John Galsworthy
  • Here, what do you mean by that cock-and-bull story, Dick Dellow?

    Old Gold George Manville Fenn
  • If it hadn't been for his cock-and-bull story we shouldn't ha' done what we did.

  • What cock-and-bull story have you got hold of now, I wonder?

    A Country Sweetheart Dora Russell
  • And pray, whom do you expect to delude with this cock-and-bull story?

    Lochinvar S. R. Crockett
  • "And I suppose yours was a cock-and-bull story, too," he said.

    In the Fog Richard Harding Davis
  • So you came all the way up here to tell me this cock-and-bull story!

    His Lordship's Leopard David Dwight Wells
  • Think you we are all fools to believe in your cock-and-bull story?

    The Tangled Skein Emmuska Orczy, Baroness Orczy
  • Has some woman been turning up with a cock-and-bull story of being my wife?

British Dictionary definitions for cock-and-bull story

cock-and-bull story

noun
1.
(informal) an obviously improbable story, esp a boastful one or one used as an excuse
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
cock-and-bull story in Culture

cock-and-bull story definition


A story that is false: “When John came home at 3:30 a.m., he gave his mother some cock-and-bull story about having a flat tire on the way home.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for cock-and-bull story

cock-and-bull story

noun phrase

An improbable account, often an alibi; a mendacious farrago: He gives me this cock-and-bull story about six flat tires

[1620+; origin uncertain; the French term ''cock and donkey'' is analogous]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for cock-and-bull story

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for cock

12
14
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for cock-and-bull story