to spin a yardTo spin a yarn’ means to tell a story, usually a long, imaginative, embellished or outright fictitious story! Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres that is made by weaving or spinning the fibres together. It is then used in the production of textiles.
The phrase ‘to spin a yarn’ was originally a nautical idiom. Sailors often had to spend time repairing rope onboard a ship, a time-consuming task involving twisting fibres together. Sailors would tell each other stories to pass the time. These stories came to be known as ‘yarns’, and telling the story came to be known as ‘spinning a yarn’. The idiom has only been in use since the early 1800s, though it draws on other popular expressions used since medieval times. Among them: ‘to tell a tall tale’ or ‘to fabricate the truth’ (meaning ‘to lie’) or ‘to bend’ or ‘to be economical with the truth’ (a half-lie).

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