old wives' tale


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old wives' tale

A now-debunked story or idea that was once believed, often superstitiously. How can you believe in that old wives' tale? Oh, that's just an old wives' tale! A broken mirror does not guarantee seven years' bad luck.
See also: old, tale

old wives' tale

Fig. a myth or superstition. You really don't believe that stuff about starving a cold do you? It's just an old wives' tale.
See also: old, tale

old wives' tale

A superstition, as in Toads cause warts? That's an old wives' tale. This expression was already known in ancient Greece, and a version in English was recorded in 1387. Despite invoking bigoted stereotypes of women and old people, it survives.
See also: old, tale

an old wives' tale

COMMON An old wives' tale is a belief that a lot of people have that is based on traditional ideas, often ones which have been proved to be incorrect. My mother used to tell me to feed a cold and starve a fever. Is it just an old wives' tale? It's not just an old wives' tale, you know, that full moons and madness go together.
See also: old, tale

an old wives' tale

a widely held traditional belief that is now thought to be unscientific or incorrect.
The phrase (and its earlier variant old wives' fable ) is recorded from the early 16th century, with the earliest example being from Tyndale's translation of the Bible.
See also: old, tale

an old ˈwives’ tale

(disapproving) an old idea or belief that has proved not to be scientific: When you’re expecting a baby, people tell you all sorts of old wives’ tales.The belief that make-up ruins your skin is just an old wives’ tale.
See also: old, tale
References in periodicals archive ?
FOR years they have been dismissed as old wives' tales but experts are claiming would-be parents can influence the sex of their babies.
Medics in America have proved the old wives' tale does work and have used tweezers to pluck out skin-burrowing fly larvae when they emerged to gobble up the bacon fat.
Some also say you should place a cold object on the neck base, which is also an old wives' tale.
And now, two researchers are trying to find how much truth is there behind the old wives' tale.
Sleep researchers set out to disprove the old wives' tale that eating cheese before going to bed gives you nightmares.
There is an old wives' tale that supposedly predicts a baby's gender based on how fast or slow their heart is beating.
John Nolan, 23, believes the old wives' tale - carrots help you see in the dark - may hold the key to saving the sight of 1,400 Irish people a year.
GRANNY'S cod liver oil remedy is one old wives' tale that should be heeded for the sake of our health, it seems.
According to the old wives' tale, the root vegetable improves your eyesight.
There's an old wives' tale that if you have a lot of heartburn during your pregnancy that you're going to have a baby with a lot of hair.
With parsley always leave about a third of the plant intact so it can quickly recover - there's an old wives' tale that whoever wears the trousers indoors has most success with this.
A NEW study has confirmed the old wives' tale that the depth of a man's voice IS linked to the size of his testicles.
Critics dismiss Moorcroft's theory as "an old wives' tale.
A third of us also believe the old wives' tale that downing lager with super-hot meals cools one's mouth - when in fact we'd be better off with milk.
Special properties: Old wives' tale has it that if you write your name on abay leaf and then burn it preferably not one you've earmarked for that chicken casserole your wish comes true.