From A to Z, Twenty-Six Funny, Weird, Vivid French Expressions




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Literally: to tell salads

The equivalent I found seems too British to me: spinning yarns

Your Turn!

What do you say?


See you on Monday for the letter T, part of the A to Z challenge!


  1. Yarns, tall tales and salads? I’ll have to think about this one.

    • Weird, right? This year I wanted to offer very short posts, since most people don’t have enough time to read elaborate explanations.
      For this particular expression, though, I could have added a line or two 🙂
      Most online search hints to an expression dating from the 19th century. When you mix different greens and add some dressing and a little bit of this and that, you obtain something pleasant to eat. When you do the same with words, you can be convincing and make someone swallow your lies or anything you want this person to believe.
      Tall tales is the English expression I would use. Yesterday, I just couldn’t find the best casual American equivalent. Thank you, Dan for suggesting.

  2. hilarymb says:

    Hi Evelyne – oh no … spinning yarns is just right … weaving stories! but spinning yarns tells salads – such fun … cheers Hilary

    • Weaving stories is exactly the meaning. If you read the comment I wrote in response to Dan’s, you’ll see why ‘salades.’ Thank you for stopping by again. Almost the end of the challenge!

  3. Sort of sounds like telling jokes to people without a sense of humor!

  4. How fun! I’m pretty sure I’ll be adopting the literal translation for my own use – to tell salads just delights me.

  5. Spinning yarns, tall tales, and telling salads are all wonderful expressions for the best kind of stories!

  6. Living on a lake, I’m going to go with a fish tale. Weekends In Maine

  7. Behind the Story says:

    Spinning yarns is good. It implies making up a story as you go. I think it also implies a long, long story, which may be different from telling a salad. I think the emphasis with tall tales is the extreme exaggeration of the tale. I’m guessing that telling a salad implies some unlikely mixing of the story parts, and then, as you said above, covering it over with a tasty dressing. The other word that is used a lot in our current political situation is “spin.”

    • Thank you, Nicki. Glad my suggested equivalent is the one you’d have picked too. Now, yarn versus salad, not sure what’s best:)
      Thank you for stopping by, Nicki. Hope all is well for you.

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