Tall Tales For Tall Men Who Fall Well Short

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However searching through Mark Twain's writings , gave no results so I wonder if it could have been him. Wikipedia references points to several interesting sites; tall-tale postcards starting at Found this reference via Michael Quinion's discussion of the phrase. The more common expression originally was tall story.


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Here's an NGram showing how the two variants stacked up before the US started getting seriously attached to tall tale in the s But as other NGrams show, the US tall tale usage didn't really dominate until the s. I don't think there's anything remarkable about using "tall" to mean "exaggerated". As to why US usage massively favoured coupling it with tale rather than sticking with the established story , I think Americans just like the partial alliteration better, so it caught on.

LATER as mentioned elsewhere, I don't think it's meaningful to look for a "first use" of the tall tale variant. However, I do suspect that an important factor in its sudden rapid rise starting in the late s may be the Paul Bunyan stories which became incredibly popular around then, and were invariably refered to as tall tales the fictional character Bunyan was always depicted as a big, tall man.

You all know that English is an Eater of Tongues, right? English gobbles up words like a chicken, grain. I foresee a spreading of a form of Chinglish dialect being absorbed into our relatively young English, like all the others it has souped into its stew. However the Chinese might feel. A telltale is an informant, a tattletale rat. It implies someone who is a gossip or loose lipped. What tale are we all serving?

Perhaps "tall" comes from German toll meaning amazing , incredible or extraordinary. Read more. Home Questions Tags Users Unanswered. Ask Question. Asked 8 years, 4 months ago.

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Kit Z. Fox I always thought that the phrase was a reference to Paul Bunyan, THE "tall tale", but I don't have any references to back that up. Were tall tales originally oratorical tales, which then spread much like rumors do, resulting in their exaggerated nature?

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If so, it might be very difficult to pin down when the first usage of "tall tale" was used. Could the term have been commonly spoken prior to its being written? Both forms were probably repeatedly re-coined anyway, in speech and writing. Fumble My interest justifies it for me. From the Hansard archive. Her winning tall tale was about how the ozone layer became damaged, ice caps melted and people had to be taken to work on camels.

From Wikipedia. It's a toughly told, very tall tale , one of the best escape and escapist movies of the season. A tall tale is a story with unbelievable elements, related as if it were true and factual. The book was autobiographical in nature, but likely would fall into the category of tall tale. In addition to this, he is excessively superstitious, often to the extent of believing every myth, legend, tall tale , etc. Most of his books are considered to fit well in the tall tale category. How far you get through this tall tale of a thriller before you give up and howl is a matter of personal taste.

He garnered headlines for his tall tale about fighting a grizzly bear. Each and every participating speaker is given three to five minutes to give a short speech of a tall tale nature, and is then judged according to several factors. The story was originally a tall tale to entertain delegates at a scientific conference on family planning; although it was later repeated as truth, it has no known historical basis. It is no good fobbing off the farmers of this country with tall tales about quotas, prohibitions and restrictions if you cannot carry them out. Does he agree that it is offensive when criminals pocket profits by telling tall tales to tabloids, thus gaining from their ill-gotten actions and badly written memoirs?

As such, many of the stories told about them have the aura of tall tales. In essence, she tells tall tales and unforeseen events usually take place.

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Celebrity comedians were part of a panel who told tall tales and a contestant had to guess which was true. No more lies, tall tales or wild goose chases to mess with the haters. However, she makes up tall tales to try to blend in to the group.

Tall tales: the curious connection between height and income

Folksongs and tall tales were part of the festivities at the "villees" evening gatherings held in "habitant" communities. Like many sideshow performers, his act consisted of telling tall tales about his body modification. After a day of work, cowboys would gather around a campfire and entertain one another with tall tales and folk songs.

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Examples of tall tale.

Tall Tales

From tall tale , to dream, to waking reality, it makes a return journey through various unstable frames to find the "real spectre of the antique" at last. From Cambridge English Corpus. But it was impossible to separate those whom one suspected were telling a tall tale from those who were genuinely unable to raise the extra money. From the Hansard archive. Example from the Hansard archive.

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Contains Parliamentary information licensed under the Open Parliament Licence v3. These examples are from the Cambridge English Corpus and from sources on the web.


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Any opinions in the examples do not represent the opinion of the Cambridge Dictionary editors or of Cambridge University Press or its licensors. Her winning tall tale was about how the ozone layer became damaged, ice caps melted and people had to be taken to work on camels.