An oft-repeated saying, maxim, or proverb; a clichéd or hackneyed expression. My dad has a few old saws he never hesitates to share with my kids whenever we come to visit. A: "An apple a day keeps the doctor away!" B: "That old saw is as untrue as it is annoying!"
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
A proverb or maxim, as in Mom's always repeating the old saw, "Haste makes waste." This term uses saw in the sense of "saying," and old in the sense of "wise" rather than old-fashioned. [Second half of 1400s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
A proverb, maxim, or adage. This term comes from a much older meaning for saw, derived from the Old English sagu and meaning just about the same as “saying.” The “old” here is not necessarily derogatory, rather signifying “wise.” Thomas Cooper in his Thesaurus (1565) defined a proverb as “an olde sayed sawe.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer