Also, shoot or throw the bull. Talk idly, chat, as in They've been sitting on the porch for hours, just shooting the breeze, or The guys sit around the locker room, throwing the bull. The first of these slangy terms, alluding to talking into the wind, was first recorded in 1919. In the variant, first recorded in 1908, bull is a shortening of bullshit, and means “empty talk” or “lies.”
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.