Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language Learners Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of other languages learning English. It's 100% free, no registration required.

The context is: "Santato wasn't spinning fairy tales.".

It means "fantasy"?

Thank you in advance!

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

Here's my totally off-the-top-of-my-head, unresearched answer: "Spinning" a fairy tale basically means to tell a story you are making up as you go along. I believe this comes from the fact that the word "yarn" is sometimes used as a colloquialism for "fictional story". Yarn is made through a process called spinning, and so when you are telling a story you are "spinning a yarn". I think the verb "spinning" has oozed out of that construction and is sometimes now used on its own to refer to the telling of a story.

share|improve this answer
    
Oh, thank you! I thought "spinning" is a "adj". After reading your lines, I think it's in the form of "was not doing" . –  Lincoln Apr 11 at 4:42
2  
@Lincoln - Yes, in this case, "spinning" is a verb. See Macmillian Def. #6: to tell a story, especially one that is not true, in an interesting and exciting way. So, "Santato wasn't spinning fairy tales" means, "Santato was telling the truth!" –  J.R. Apr 11 at 9:33
    
Thank you! @J.R. I forget the name of Macmillian Dictionary, and just check the Oxford dictionary... –  Lincoln Apr 12 at 7:06
    
@Lincoln - Don't forget about OneLook; that will hook you up with Oxford and Macmillan – and a dozen or so more good dictionaries, too! –  J.R. Apr 12 at 10:22
    
@J.R. Wow, OneLook is good ! Thank you! –  Lincoln Apr 17 at 1:43

From The Free Dictionary, spin:

"to produce, fabricate, or evolve in a manner suggestive of spinning thread: to spin a tale."

I believe this is the meaning here. It could be restated as:

Santato wasn't just imagining [and telling] fairy tales [but was telling the truth].

share|improve this answer
    
Agreed. Today "spin" is often used in relation to political "story telling" to distort what is (or was) said, or at least to emphasize what's advantageous to your side -- to put "spin" on an event or story to accrue advantage over an opponent. –  Phil Perry Apr 11 at 13:48
    
I see that as a subtly different meaning. "spin" in the political sense is to twist the true story, while "spin" here is an outright fabrication. –  Tim S. Apr 11 at 13:51
    
Well, in politics you twist a true story by introducing false material, exaggerating aspects of [the true story], overemphasizing parts advantageous to you, and not mentioning/belittling/silencing discussion of parts disadvantageous to you. There are still falsehoods involved. –  Phil Perry Apr 11 at 13:58

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.