an old chestnut

(redirected from a hoary old chestnut)

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

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 ?
It's a hoary old chestnut but it appears that it may actually be based in fact.
It's a hoary old chestnut, and stems all the way back to Denis Law's appalled reaction when he instinctively back-heeled his beloved United towards the drop wearing a Manchester City shirt.
OKAY, so the much hyped Doctor Who Christmas special turned out to be a bit of a hoary old chestnut.
It's a hoary old chestnut that barely needs repeating but such is the way of phoneins that these debates are always being churned out.
I vowed not to bite on this one as it's a hoary old chestnut.
However talk of a bid approach (possibly from Asda owner Wal-Mart) has been circulating in recent weeks although it should be noted that as rumours go this is something of a hoary old chestnut.