chestnut

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Related to Chestnuts: Horse chestnuts

pull (one's) chestnuts out of the fire

To do a difficult, and often dangerous, task for someone else's benefit. David really pulled my chestnuts out of the fire that time he saved me from drowning. I can't believe my car broke down on this desolate road late at night—thank you so much for pulling my chestnuts out of the fire and picking me up!
See also: chestnut, fire, of, out, pull

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

pull someone's chestnuts out of the fire

or

pull the chestnuts out of the fire

OLD-FASHIONED
If you pull someone's chestnuts out of the fire or pull the chestnuts out of the fire, you save someone from a very difficult situation which they have caused themselves. It's not our business, pulling their chestnuts out of the fire. The President tried to use the CIA to pull the chestnuts out of the fire. Note: This expression is based on the fable of the cat and the monkey. The cat wanted to get some roast chestnuts out of the fire but did not want to burn its paws, so it persuaded the monkey to do the job instead.
See also: chestnut, fire, of, out, pull

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

pull someone's chestnuts out of the fire

succeed in a hazardous undertaking for someone else's benefit.
This expression refers to the fable of a monkey using a cat's paw (or in some versions a dog's paw) to rake out roasting chestnuts from a fire. Cat's paw is sometimes used as a term for someone who is used by another person as a tool or stooge.
See also: chestnut, fire, of, out, pull

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 ?
Chestnuts contain approximately 21% of the Recommended Daily Intake of dietary fibre, which is necessary to help reduce blood cholesterol.
Add the chestnuts and gently swish them about, allowing the caramel to coat the pieces.
Street corner vendors roasted chestnuts on open fires.
We have all heard about chestnuts roasting on an open fire in the classic Christmas song, but exactly what happened to the American chestnut?
Add stock, roasted squash, thyme, bay leaves, chestnuts and puree.
com chestnuts are in season now and bring to mind winters past, when they could be bought hand-scaldingly hot and delicious.
13 ( ANI ): Demand for chestnuts has increased manifold here with the onset of winter season, as health experts recommend the same for their nutritive value.
Like a wacky cousin at your family reunion, chestnuts are a little different.
5%, 25 IBU Dark Ale made with dark roasted chestnuts.
IN SEASON With LYNN BAYS, head chef at Souter Lighthouse CHESTNUTS roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping on your nose.
WITH Christmas approaching there will be chestnuts in the store - they have a whole army of uses - not just for roasting by the open fire but for putting with vegetables, puddings and even crumbling in soup.
Unlike resistant Asian species, American chestnuts (Castanea dentata) proved to be extremely susceptible to the disease, which spread rapidly and killed an estimated 99 per cent of the region's chestnuts in just 50 years.
As most people know, chestnuts are small, round, smooth, shiny and brown.
Get Western chestnuts, sweet and floury textured, at farmers' markets, or go to wcga.