Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Cock and Bull Story.

 Cock and Bottle.Cock and Pie (By). 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Cock and Bull Story.
A corruption of a concocted and bully story. The catch-pennies hawked about the streets are still called cocksi.e. concocted things. Bully is the Danish bullen (exaggerated), our bull-rush (an exaggerated rush), bull-frog, etc.   1
   Another etymology may be suggested The idol Nergal was the most common idol of the ancient Phœnicians, Indians, and Persians, and Nergal means a dunghill cock. The Egyptian bull is equally notorious under the name of Osi’ris. A cock-and-bull story may therefore mean a myth, in reference to the mythological fables of Nergal and Osiris.   2
   The French equivalents are faire un coq à l’âne and un conie de ma mère l’oie (a mother goose tale).   3

 Cock and Bottle.Cock and Pie (By). 


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