A cock and bull story


      • a fanciful or unbelievable tale
        To refer to a story that is unlikely to be true or is highly exaggerated

      • a long-winded and tedious story
        To describe a lengthy and boring narrative

    Examples of A cock and bull story

    • Jessica claimed that she had just survived a harrowing encounter with a group of armed robbers who had held her up in a dark alley. When the police investigated her story, they discovered that she had actually spent the evening at a bar, drinking heavily and making up wild tales to impress her friends. This is a classic example of a cock and bull story.

      The phrase "cock and bull story" originates from a children's game called "cock and bull," where a player would make up outlandish tales about a rooster and a bull, to amuse other children. Over time, the term came to be associated with any tall tale or blatant lie. In this example, Jessica spun a cock and bull story to boast about her bravery and impress her friends, but her exaggerated claims were easily exposed as false.

    • John kept regaling us with his wild adventures, but we suspected that they were nothing but a cock and bull story.

      This example shows that "cock and bull story" is used as a noun phrase to describe a tale that is full of exaggerations and improbable elements. In this case, John's stories were being viewed as fanciful and unlikely.

    • Sally tried to convince us that she had won the lottery, but we could tell it was a cock and bull story because her demeanor didn't match her behavior.

      This example illustrates that "cock and bull story" can also be an adjective phrase to describe something as false and unbelievable. In this case, Sally's claim was being seen as implausible due to her apparently insincere manner.

    • The politician's campaign promises sounded like a cock and bull story to the skeptical public.

      This example shows how "cock and bull story" can be used as a verb phrase, as in "sounded like". Here, the idiom is being employed to indicate that the politician's pledges appeared to be unnecessary and hard to believe, suggesting that they might not be fulfilled.

    • The company's announcement that they were going to solve the world's energy crisis in a matter of weeks was met with derision and disbelief, as it was clear that it was a cock and bull story.

      This example demonstrates that "cock and bull story" can be used in a variety of expressions, such as "met with" and "was clear that", to describe a fantastic and far-fetched assertion. In this case, the implication is that the company's proposition was fanciful and unrealistic, and unlikely to come to fruition.

    • "Mark was regaling us with a cock and bull story about his recent adventures in the Amazon rainforest. He described in vivid detail encountering a tribe of headhunters, narrowly escaping a pack of jaguars, and even battling a giant anaconda. We all listened on the edge of our seats, but deep down, we knew it was all a tall tale."

      A cock and bull story is a term used to describe an elaborate and completely fabricated tale, often filled with wild and exaggerated details. Its origins are unclear, but some say it comes from a time when horse dealers would come up with imaginative and inflated descriptions of their animals in order to sell them. These days, the phrase is commonly used to describe someone telling a blatant lie or spinning an elaborate yarn. In the example above, Mark's story about his adventures in the Amazon was a classic cock and bull tale, filled with outrageous details that were completely implausible.


    The idiom "a cock and bull story" is used to describe both a fanciful or unbelievable tale and a long-winded and tedious story. It is often employed to convey skepticism or disbelief towards the narrative being presented.

    Origin of "A cock and bull story"

    The origin of the idiom "a cock and bull story" can be traced back to the 17th century in England. The phrase is believed to have originated from two separate sources. The term "cock" was used to refer to the boastful and unreliable nature of a rooster, while "bull" symbolized a similar lack of credibility in a bull's story. Over time, the two animals became synonymous with unreliable or exaggerated tales, leading to the creation of the idiom "a cock and bull story."

    One popular theory suggests that the idiom may have originated from the Cock and Bull Inn in England, where travelers would often gather and share outlandish stories. These tales were then referred to as "cock and bull stories" due to their dubious nature. Regardless of its exact origins, the idiom has become a common expression in the English language, used to dismiss or discredit unbelievable or tedious narratives.