TELL IT TO THE MARINES
Often thought to be of US origin, the phrase often used in response to an incredible story is in fact British. ‘Tell it to the marines’ dates back to at least the 1830s and refers to the Royal Marines. Marines were recruited from regular soldiers to serve on-board ships and were not considered to be on a par with hardened sailors. This led to the implication that they were also likely to be naive and believe far-fetched or patently untruthful stories. Hence when a sailor was told such a tale he would say scornfully “Tell it to the marines.” Also if a sailor complained about a hardship to a senior officer he was likely to get the same response.