Cock and Bull: Do You Know What this Idiom Means?

The term ‘cock and bull’ is one that you may hear frequently in English but what does it mean? Is it a reference to animals or does it mean something totally different? We are going to take a look into the meaning of this term and how we can use it in our daily conversations.

Cock And Bull

Cock And Bull Meaning

The meaning of the phrase ‘cock and bull’ refers to something that is not true.

Origin of the idiomatic phrase

This idiom is believed to have come from the days of stagecoaches, and when people would travel on these stagecoaches between London and Birmingham, they would gossip and share rumours. The two pubs at either end of this route were named The cock and The bull, it is these two establishments which lent their names to the saying we use today.

“Cock And Bull” Examples

You might use the term ‘cock and bull’ when telling someone that you do not believe what they are saying. For example, you might say something along the lines of ‘You cannot seriously expect me to believe that cock and bull story you are telling me.’

Example Sentences

  • He told us some cock-and-bull story about having lost all his money.
  • She told me some cock-and-bull story about her car breaking down.
  • I asked for an explanation, and all I got was your ridiculous cock-and-bull story!
  • Was it him who made you come to us with this cock-and-bull story?
  • You don’t really expect me to buy that cock-and-bull story, do you?

Conversation Examples

If you are looking for ways in which to use the idiomatic term ‘cock and bull’ in a conversation, here are some examples of how you might do that.

Conversation 1:

  • Person 1: “So, I had just climbed to the top of mount Everest, when I saw a yeti.”
  • Person 2: “What a load of cock and bull, you have never even been to Nepal.”

Conversation 2:

  • Person 1: “Daniel told me a story the other day, he said that he had met the Queen and had tea with her.”
  • Person 2: “That’s ridiculous, that clearly didn’t happen. He’s just telling you a cock and bull story.”

Other Ways to Say the Phrase

There are many other terms you might use to mean the same thing as ‘cock and bull.’ Here are some examples.

  • Tall tale
  • Fish story
  • A load of nonsense
  • Lie

What Is “Cock And Bull”? | Image

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