old chestnut


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old chestnut

A topic, saying, or joke that has been repeated so much that it has become boring or irksome. Whether there's truth in it or not, I can't stand that old chestnut "follow your heart."
See also: chestnut, old

old chestnut

A stale joke, story, or saying, as in Dad keeps on telling that old chestnut about how many psychiatrists it takes to change a light bulb . This expression comes from William Dimond's play, The Broken Sword (1816), in which one character keeps repeating the same stories, one of them about a cork tree, and is interrupted each time by another character who says "Chestnut, you mean . . . I have heard you tell the joke twenty-seven times and I am sure it was a chestnut."
See also: chestnut, old

an old chestnut

or

a hoary old chestnut

mainly BRITISH
COMMON If you describe something that is said or written as an old chestnut or a hoary old chestnut, you mean that it has been repeated so often that it is no longer interesting. Finally, how do you answer that old interview chestnut: `Why should I hire you?' The film is based on the hoary old chestnut of good twin/bad twin, separated at birth, final fatal meeting — you get the idea.
See also: chestnut, old

an old chestnut

a joke, story, or subject that has become tedious and boring as a result of its age and constant repetition.
The most likely source for this sense of chestnut is in the following exchange between two characters, Zavior and Pablo, in William Dimond 's play Broken Sword ( 1816 ): ZAVIOR…When suddenly from the thick boughs of a cork tree— PABLO. (Jumping up) A chesnut, Captain, a chesnut…Captain, this is the twenty-seventh time I have heard you relate this story, and you invariably said, a chesnut, until now.
See also: chestnut, old

an/that old ˈchestnut

(informal) a joke or story that has often been repeated and as a result is no longer amusing: ‘He told us all about the police arresting him for climbing into his own house.’ ‘Oh, no, not that old chestnut again.’
See also: chestnut, old, that
References in periodicals archive ?
So let's bury these old chestnuts once and for all.
Similarly republicans trumpet this outdated old chestnut on a regular basis which is boring cobblers.
Like television repeats, it probably depends upon how old you are as to whether you recognise old favourites, or old chestnuts, coming round the carousel of life.
She's a brave woman to stand up for what some believe is just a tired old chestnut and against the prejudice that brands anyone who pipes up against these semipornographic images killjoys.
He hasn't lost the plot because he never had one, but in the past couple of weeks he has fallen back on that mouldy old chestnut, promising to improve public services and reduce taxes.
According to informed football sources, never before has the situation involving the old chestnut of a merged GB XI appeared to balance quite so delicately.
An old chestnut getting a kinetic update is Fountain, 1993, wherein Pranger conjoins Duchamp's meditations on another piece of utilitarian ceramicware with Meret Oppenheim's 1936 Object.
However, the Welsh language campaigners have wasted no time, even before the man has been interred, in resurrecting the same old chestnut about the language that is dividing Welsh society and suggesting that new estates should be either for Welsh speakers or English speakers.
And don't listen to the old chestnut about paying peanuts and getting monkeys.
As for that old chestnut that local children may be harmed, these Kitts Greeners should recall that youngsters are more at risk from their families than from unknown passers-by.
IT is a great pity the person who penned the poor response to my Blue legacy letter (Daily Post, April 11) was so spineless they had to hide behind that old chestnut, name and address supplied.
Yet another generation were treated to that old chestnut Buzzy bee, buzzy bee, what have you got in your hive for me?
EVERY so often somebody comes up with the old chestnut about the Beatles ``putting Liverpool on the map'',giving the impression that the Fab Four brought recognition, wealth and untold prosperity to the city.
The Arsenal v Liverpool game also brings up an old chestnut of mine.
That old chestnut is roasted every two years and vanishes without trace.