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old wives' tale

Fig. a myth or superstition. You really don't believe that stuff about starving a cold do you? It's just an old wives' tale.
See also: old, tale

an old wives' tale

a piece of advice or an idea which a lot of people believed in the past but which we now know is wrong It's an old wives' tale that drinking alcohol before you go to bed helps you sleep.
See also: old, tale

old wives' tale

A superstition, as in Toads cause warts? That's an old wives' tale. This expression was already known in ancient Greece, and a version in English was recorded in 1387. Despite invoking bigoted stereotypes of women and old people, it survives.
See also: old, tale
References in periodicals archive ?
Wives who were not employed and not seeking employment were classified as at-home wives.
These expenses were lowest for families with wives who were not employed ($2,652), but there was no difference in spending between families with fulltime working wives ($3,094) and with part-time working wives ($2,971).
Choir member Laura Tulett, 31, said the show had given the public an understanding of what life is like for military wives.
Mr Robinson, whose late father Allan was a well known police officer in Huddersfield, hopes their version will encourage people to buy the Military Wives single.
Some wives, they just want to get married for leisure but they don't know the responsibility," she said.
His father Murad Abdul Rahman, according to him, lived till 110 years and had four wives with 27 children.
In contrast, the figure for wives in their 50s declined 2.
A total of 35% of these wives received at least 1 mental health diagnosis during the 4-year study.
At follow-up, the cumulative incidence of HIV among wives of circumcised men was actually higher than that observed among the wives of the noncircumcised men, at 13.
Obviously Henry VIII was married many times and as a result had six wives in total during his life, with marriages ending for a range of reasons such as death and divorce.
Donations of unwanted machines poured in from kind-hearted people from across Nuneaton and Bedworth to help out the wives, who are based at the Gamecock Barracks in Bramcote.
A MIDLAND businessman with three wives has spoken out against a law which allows immigrants to claim benefits for their multiple partners - even though bigamy is a crime in Britain.
Up against all these factors, some medieval wives might have found their fates difficult to accept.
Because they were covered by New York Life claims checks, Custer's wife, and the wives of the five officers, declined to take money raised in a national campaign to support the wives widowed by the Little Bighorn battle.
4) Clement of Alexandria explains that those wives functioned as evangelistic co-partners: "It was through them that the Lord's teaching penetrated also the women's quarters without any scandal being aroused.