a tall tale

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - a tall tale

"a tall tale"

a story or fact that sounds so fantastical that it is difficult to believe


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - a tall tale

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  I heard that this company is going to be taken over by a big multi-national and that our salaries will be doubled.

Colleague 2:  Sounds like a tall tale to me. There is no way that is going to happen. Perhaps there will be a take-over but no salary increase. In fact, we will be lucky to keep our jobs in such a situation.

Colleague 1:  I thought it sounded too good to be true.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - a tall tale

A teacher and student are talking ...

Teacher:  Where is your homework?

Student:  A monster came out of my closet in the night and stole it.

Teacher:  Really?

Student: The monster was green and had a giant head. It had four horns and goblin ears and it told me that if I tried to stop it from taking my homework that it would eat me.

Teacher:  If you spent as much energy and imagination on doing your homework as you do making up tall tales, you would have an A-plus.

a tall tale - Usage:


a tall tale - Gerund Form:

There is no gerund form for a tall tale.

a tall tale - Examples:

1)  ... guests are telling true stories from their weird and wonderful lives, or spinning a tall tale based on a lie given to them by the production team.

2)  Like a tall tale, however, it grew ever taller and more complicated in the telling and ...

3)  What ensues I can only describe as the great neenish tart scandal.  A tall tale born in a fit of pique.

4)  It often has the vibe of a tall tale, a campfire story modeled around a folk hero.

5)  ... man is accused of telling a tall tale about his supposed military service to obtain veteran status for his driver's license.

6)  ... the reality to catch up with the story. It's tempting to spin a tall tale about a piece of technology or a customer service policy, ...

7)  Inevitably, the fraudster will spin a tall tale about why they suddenly need your financial help, ranging from medical emergencies to ...

8)  ... was intended to be a tall tale within the narrative, rather than fact.

9)  To escape the clutches of these forest foes, the mouse invents a tall tale about a ferocious new friend and protector, the Gruffalo!

10)  ... has proven to be a tall tale that took great liberties with the truth for the sake of making an entertaining ...

11)  He even seems to channel the ragged spirit of the Edinburgh fringe, telling a tall tale about a goat unicorn while tuning his banjo and repeatedly giggling, ...

12)  ... finally I deliberately decided that it was entirely and unquestionably true. A tall tale.

13)  The idea that the ebook will kill the paperback seems increasingly like a tall tale.

14)  ... for a "bedtime story" vibe, but few capture the charm of a tall tale as told to a youngster by an adult she looks up to.

15)  ... with a tall tale about Santa emancipating King Kong.

16)  ... to accept these shadowy figures as real but dismiss Joan as a tall tale is the fact she was a woman.

17)  Even his closest friends were never sure whether the anecdote was true or a tall tale.

18)  Like a tall tale or fable, the truth they spewed was both outrageous but also undeniable.

19)  The book's appeal traces to two main currents: one, it's a tall tale in the great American tradition of Mark Twain, ...

20)  ... to distinguish fact from fiction, but happily, her history still reads like a tall tale; ...