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cock-and-bull story

[kok-uh n-boo l]
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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.
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Origin of cock-and-bull story

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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cock-and-bull story

Historical Examples

  • That sounds like a cock-and-bull-story,—said the young fellow whom they call John.

    The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table

    Oliver Wendell Holmes


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
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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

cock-and-bull story in Culture

cock-and-bull story

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.”

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.