an 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

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 ?
We immediately identified it as a Hoary Bat (average mass at our study site = 23 g) by its distinct size, coloration, and flight style.
Both the big brown bat and hoary bat can be found in the U.
Considering that foraging group size is primarily influenced by temporal and spatial patterns of resource availability (Caraco and Wolf, 1975), the objective of this work was to investigate seasonal variation in foraging group size of the crab-eating fox and the hoary fox in the Cerrado region.
For all weeks and years combined, we captured 1602 (76%) different red bats, 164 (8%) northern long-eared bats (Myotis septentrionalis), 86 (4%) evening bats, 84 (4%) tri-colored bats, 52 (2%) hoary bats, 49 (2%) Seminole bats, 45 (2%) silver-haired bats and 25 (1%) big brown bats (Eptesicusfuscus).
RESULTS--We captured 177 hoary bats (63 males, 114 females) in 30 nights of netting during our study.
Keywords: Hoary bat, Lasiurus cinereus, foraging, Indianapolis International Airport, roosting
When I worked for newspapares in Prague and Budapest, we used to laugh at the hoary cliches regurgitated by correspondents who lived nearby, in never-communist cities such as Vienna, let alone parachute artists from New York and Los Angeles.
This issue of Education Next vividly illustrates these dilemmas and shows how such hoary questions of political philosophy are now entangled with interests and ingrained practices.
And also I think that costume dramas have gotten sort of hoary, whereas the archness and the extremeness--especially of certain animators--I adore some of that stuff.
Common redpolls and hoary redpolls must feed constantly as these northern residents need to refuel and conserve energy for survival.
This sounds like a wonderfully hoary and straight-shooting concept but Keck shows that it's something short of that.
Along the way, he trots out hoary lines we've heard before: The nation has turned its back on real faith.
Difficulties with domestic shipping practices, untrained labor pools, hoary government regulations and counterfeiting were among the major headaches cited.
While his dour vision may provide a call to action for similarly hoary policymakers in Congress, what it most clearly indicates is that Huntington and his ilk are mostly know-nothings about reality on the streets of the United States.
The islands' biggest native mammal is the hoary bat.