an old chestnut

(redirected from hoary)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

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 ?
Encounters that result in physical contact are even more rarely observed and, in North America, usually involve Hoary Bats (Lasiurus cinereus; Table 1).
What is one difference between the big brown bat and the hoary bat?
The crab-eating fox (Cerdocyon thous) and the hoary fox (Lycalopex vetulus) are small to medium sized canids occurring in central areas of South America.
For example, migratory tree bats, including hoary bats (Lasiurus cinereus) and eastern red bats (L.
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.
While this unprecedented pairing of ephermeral actions and hoary institutions raises many questions, these issues remain largely unresolved.
THE Mole can't help noticing that nobody seems to have brought out that hoary old chestnut about the team that's bottom on Christmas Day nearly always getting relegated.
Hoary bats (Lasiurus cinereus) are among the most wide-ranging mammals in North America, and their seasonal movements illustrate the unique migration strategies of bats (Findley and Jones, 1964; Cryan, 2003).
Secrets of the Hoary Deep: A Personal History of Modern Astronomy recounts the amazing history of the science of x-ray astronomy from its inception to the modern day.
New to the 18th edition of this hoary textbook classic are chapters on patient safety considerations, bedside procedures, and regenerative medicine, as well as the revision and updating of the remaining chapters, in part through the addition of 50 new authors.
Desert Quest is taken to make a winning start over fences in the Hoary Morning Beginners' Chase at Taunton.
The hoary frost, edges each blade of grass, each leaf
on the map in the 1980s with its consistently excellent self-titled debut (Livewire Records), wholly avoiding hoary hard-rock clich(hrt)s in favor of low-key jangling.
The surreal and the supernatural are king in this collection but there are creative and imaginative takes on a lot of hoary old stereotypes.
explores the experience of various groups as they aided the transformations of space and time involved in turning the hoary cultural capital of Suzhou into a modern city during the twilight of the Qing dynasty.