Michael Portillo’s Great British Railway Journeys is proving to be a rich mine of information on the origin of old words and phrases (and always 100% accurate!)
Today we have a term that’s perhaps not used as much as it once was, but still pretty well known.
In ye olde days
(back in the grim days before the internet) a lot of national and international news was spread from town to town and mouth to mouth by travellers arriving at coaching inns. There were two within close proximity of each other on the High Street in Wolverton, Buckinghamshire, and as tales were passed from one to the other they tended to get exaggerated in the telling.
One inn was called the Cock, the other the Bull – hence, a “cock and bull” story!