Sorry I’m late in getting this post out today. I was working on the post earlier this week, but my computer stopped working. I took it to a computer repair shop to the fixed. Turns out the flux capacitator next to the doohickey wasn’t doing what it needed to. They had to order the part from Amazon, which surprised me, because I didn’t know they made computer stuff in the rain forest.

So far, if you are asking yourself “What kind of tall tale is Nick tell me?” Know that I’m not. I’m just telling you a lie.

Until this week I I thought tall tales and liar stories were one and the same. But as with many definitions of oral storytelling types that I am looking for, finding info written down can be tricky. One of the benefits of the increased networking during the pandemic is I am now a part of more storytelling groups on line (see the reference sections for the groups I used). So I asked the question of what’s the difference. Wow the answers!

The Definition as I understand It

A tall tale is a story that start out with some level of truth, but then exaggerates the parts of the story greatly. It’s normally used as a way to highlight the accomplishments of a person or event in a very grand, over-the-top way. This seems to be a mostly American type of oral storytelling.

A liar story also has some level of truth. Unlike a tall tale, it’s not necessarily meant to highlight a particular person of event. It’s really a work of creativity. How many outrageous things can the storyteller put in a story, with just enough truth to hold the story together.

Are they related?

Lona Bartlett gave this super cool explanation in the Storytelling Facebook group: “It is like this: Air is a gas but not all gas is air. So A tall tale is a lie but not all lies are tall tales”. With the help of Lona, Rachel Hedman, and other storytellers, I have come to understand that tall tales fit in the umbrella of liar stories. Interestingly, liar stories became more prevent after tall tales have been around.

Something it made me think about

Comparing tall tales and liar stories got ne thinking, how might other type of storytelling evolve? What I know of present day storytelling in all ftypes, there is a certain about of updating that happens. It necessary to help keep stories relivelent to newer generations.


A big thanks goes to the Facebook groups
below and all the storytellers that reached out to me. They helped direct me to the info you see here. And that’s no lie; I wouldn’t tell you a tall tale.

Artist Standing Strong Together


One thought on “The Stories We Tell – Tall Tales and Short Lies

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