old chestnut: [noun] an over-repeated (i.e. "worn out") story. that old chestnut: [noun] something so often repeated it has become tiresome. ‘The old chestnut of ‘environmental damage’ is, of course, a favourite concern of green campaigners, and one which the UK government is keen to take on board.’ ‘‘Do you expect me to fall for that old chestnut,’ she fumed.’ ‘We've discovered the answer to that old chestnut.’ that has been repeated so many times it is no longer funny or interesting; a cliche. Since the 1800s, the Oxford English Dictionary says, “chestnut” has been used figuratively to mean “a story that has been told before, a ‘venerable’ joke.” In extended use, the dictionary says, a “chestnut” means “anything trite, stale, or too often repeated.” The adjective “old” was added along the way for emphasis. Eric Partirdge in Origins (1983 edition) says the probable origin is eating roasted chestnuts at the fireside while listening to old stories. old chestnut (English)Origin & history Originally as chestnut, with “old” for emphasis.Popularized US 1880s, particularly Northeast and Midwest, with various theories propounded. It really is a hoary old chestnut. : 1Ammer, Christine. An idea or subject, usually flawed, which perpetually resurfaces in conversation despite having been discussed to death long ago. Find more ways to say old-chestnut, along with related words, antonyms and example phrases at Thesaurus.com, the world's most trusted free thesaurus. Where did it originate? The word chestnut itself, he says, derives from Middle English chesten nut, and ultimately from Latin castaneo, a translation of the Greek kastanea, meaning “chestnut.” That helps, of course, a lot. Another word for old chestnut. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.,2Ayto, John. In the citation below, the term is used humorously because the story has never happened, and so it couldn't be over-repeated. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Another word for old-chestnut. Meaning of Idiom ‘Old Chestnut’ An old chestnut is an old joke, story, saying, pun, etc. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Citation from Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002 film) blacked out to resolve Google's penalty against this site . Example: Grandma brings out that story about her meeting the Queen every Christmas. The meaning of "old chestnut"" Old chestnut " Meaning: A story that has been told repeatedly and which has lost any originality. An old chestnut definition: a statement, story or idea that has been repeated so often that it is no longer... | Meaning, pronunciation, translations and examples Synonyms for old chestnut include platitude, banality, bromide, commonplace, truism, cliché, inanity, chestnut, cliche and dullness. 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