Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Lying for the Whetstone.

 Lying by the Wall.Lyme-hound 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Lying for the Whetstone.
Said of a person who is grossly exaggerating or falsifying a statement. One of the Whitsun amusements of our forefathers was the lie-wage or lie-match; he who could tell the greatest lie was rewarded with a whetstone to sharpen his wit. The nature of these contests may be illustrated by the following well-known extravaganza: one of the combatants declared he could see a fly on the top of a church - steeple; the other replied, “Oh yes, I saw him wink his eye.”   1
        When Sir R. Digby declared he had seen the “philosopher’s stone.” Bacon quizzically replied, “perhaps it was a whetsone.”

 Lying by the Wall.Lyme-hound 


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