fishermen/pirate stories?

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Senior Member
Poland, Polish
Hey guys,

How do you call those kinds of stories which the person tells to show off and present themselves in a better (brave, heroic, talented, etc) way? My friend (a non-native speaker as well) suggested a term "fishermen stories". I never heard it though. I know that some Spanish speakers say "cuentos/historias de pirata". Is it correct to say "pirate stories"? Or maybe there is another expression you can come up with?

Thanks for your help,
  • Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    A fisherman catches a 10" long fish and tells it the first time that he caught a 12" long fish.

    The next time he tells the story the fish is 14" long. Before long it is 24" long and the biggest fish ever caught.

    So a fisherman's story is generally a wildly exaggerated story listing accomplishments. This is not the same as "showboating" where the person reasonably accurately details and displays his accomplishments.

    So, do you mean to have someone brag? Or brag and exaggerate?

    Or just exaggerate (Paul Bunyan story).


    Senior Member
    English UK
    I agree with Packard: "fishermen's stories" or "fishermen's tales" (the second is, I think, more common in BrE).

    PS: Welcome to the forums, SheDevil :)


    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Yes, but he has not yet stated the intention of the reference.

    Is it simple braggadocio? Or is it a grandiose lie to promote his self-interest?


    Senior Member
    Mexico English
    "fish story" is more common in AE. Leading the adjective "fishy" to describe anything suspicious...though that might come from the smell of old fish.


    USA - English
    A more widely used term would be "tall tales." They are stories that are exaggerated. Some people also call them "yarns" - but to me that has a rural tone to it.


    Senior Member
    USA (English)
    I agree with Jenc. "Tall tale" is what immediately came to my mind after reading mietagosia's description. I have never heard of a "fish/fisherman" story, although I understand the idea.
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