old saw

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old saw

An oft-repeated saying, maxim, or proverb; a cliché 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!"
See also: old, saw

old saw

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]
See also: old, saw

old saw

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.”
See also: old, saw
References in periodicals archive ?
How does that old saw about "a friend of my enemy is my enemy" apply here?
WHERE there's muck there's brass - that old saw was proved yet again at the weekend with the news that Hilary Armstrong, the former local government minister has taken a highly lucrative post with a French company which specialises in refuse collection.
The further up the product lifecycle, the bigger the benefits you get." It's that old saw: A mistake detected in design costs $1; in manufacturing planning, $100; in production, $1,000.
In addition to calling citizens "customers," the county now calls departments "business centers." It's all so '90s and, if you ask me, as silly as that old saw about "running government like a business," when in fact, government is not a for-profit enterprise and exists for all sorts of purposes that businesses don't.
With that old saw "variety is the spice of life" in mind, and recognizing that detailed instructions can be inhibiting, I gave the author(s) of each article wide latitude in deciding the article's exact content and length.
In "Safety Measures," (Best's Review, August 2000), your subhead on page 42 used that old saw "trial lawyers" to describe plaintiff's lawyers.