(French). A stork. Conte de la cigogne. An old wife's tale; silly tittle-tattle. “On conte des choses merveilleuses de la cigogne” (wonderful stories are told of the stork). This, no doubt, refers to the numerous Swedish legends of the stork, one of which is that its very name is derived from a stork flying round the cross of Christ, crying, Styrka! Styrka! (strengthen, strengthen, or bear up), and as the stork has no voice at all, the legend certainly is a “Conte de la cigogne,” or old wife's fable.
“Japprehende qu'on ne croye que tout ce que j'ai rapporté jusqu'a present ne passe pour des contes de la cigogne, ou de ma mére Poie.” —Le Romam Bourgeois, 1713.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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