Green’s Dictionary of Slang

bull n.6

[euph. for bullshit n.; but note OF. boul, boule, fraud, deceit, trickery]

1. [late 19C+] (orig. US) lies, flattery, insincere talk of any kind.

2. [1940s+] (orig. milit.) unnecessary routine or discipline; thus bulled-up, dressed according to the strictest military regulations.

3. see bullshit n.

In derivatives

bullfest (n.) [-fest sfx]

[1900s–40s] a group, usu. of men, bonding through conversation, reminiscence, jokes, songs etc.

In compounds

bull artist (n.) [-artist sfx]

[1910s+] a braggart, a boaster, one who lies, deceives.

bull con (n.) [con n.1 (7)]

[late 19C+] (US) specious, deceitful talk; thus v. to deceive.

bullcorn (n.) [euph. for bullshit n./bull con ]

[1910s+] (Aus. / US) nonsense, rubbish; also used as excl.

bullcrap (n.) [crap n.1 (4)]

[1950s+] any form of specious talk, nonsense, rubbish, lies, flattery; also as a dismissive excl.

bull dinky (n.) (also bull dickey) [dicky n.5 /dingus n. (2)]

[1940s+] (US) any form of specious talk, nonsense, rubbish, lies, flattery.

bulldust (n.)

see separate entry.

bullfeathers (n.) [SE feathers, on pattern of horsefeathers n.; note ads for Washington hamburger grill Bullfeathers ‘When Teddy Roosevelt was hungry, he’d grumble, “Oh, bullfeathers”’]

[1940s+] (US) rubbish, nonsense, also as excl.

bull-fodder (n.) [euph. for bullshit n.]

[1910s+] (orig. Aus.) rubbish, nonsense, lies.

bull hockey (n.) [hockie n. (2)]

[1960s+] (US) any form of specious talk, lies, flattery, insincerity, nonsense etc.


see separate entries.

bull-lobb (v.)

[1930s] (US) to gossip or chatter inconsequentially.

bull manure (n.)

see separate entry.

bull merchant (n.) [merchant n.]

[1910s–50s] (Aus./US) one who speaks insincerely.

bull muffin (n.) [meadow muffin n.]

[1980s] (US) specious talk, nonsense, rubbish, insincerity.

bull pucky (n.) (also bull puckey) [puckey n.]

[1960s+] (US) any form of specious talk, insincerity, flattery, lies.

bull roar (n.)

[1960s+] (US) any form of specious talk, insincerity, flattery, lies.

bull scare (n.)

[1940s–60s] (US black) an aggressive, menacing manner that is no more than a bluff.

bull session (n.)

see separate entry.


see separate entries.

bull shooter (n.)

[1910s–60s] (US) a braggart, a liar.

bull slinger (n.)

[1910s+] (US) a braggart, a liar.

bullstuff (n.) [euph. for bullshit n.]

[1960s+] (US) nonsense.

bull-sugar (n.)

[1960s–70s] nonsense, rubbish.

bull thrower (n.)

[1910s–60s] (US) a braggart, a liar.

bullwash (n.) [? bushwa n.]

[1910s+] (US) any form of specious talk, lies, nonsense, insincerity.

In phrases

bung on the bull (v.)

[1940s+] (Aus.) to show off, to act in a pretentious manner.

line of bull (n.)

[20C+] purportedly persuasive nonsense.

pull bull (v.) [fig. use of sense 1; i.e. their illicit service is ‘nonsense’]

[20C+] (W.I.) to run an illegal, unlicensed taxi service, to use one’s own car as an unlicensed taxi.

put the bull on (v.) [the animal’s characteristics]

[1960s+] (US) to pressurize, to act aggressively towards.

shoot the bull (v.) (also peddle the bull, spin the bull)

[20C+] to gossip, to chat; to talk deliberately deceptive nonsense.

sling the bull (v.)

[late 19C+] (US) to talk nonsense, to chatter about trivialities; thus bullslinging n.

spread the bull (v.)

[1910s+] to talk boastfully, if inaccurately, of one’s prowess.

tie that bull outside (also tie the animal outside)

[1920s] (US) as an imper. phr., stop talking nonsense.

toss the bull around (v.) (also throw the bull around, toss the ox)

[1920s+] (US) to chatter, to gossip; to talk nonsense.