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Monday, September 3, 2007

CHESTNUT: an old chestnut - an old joke or overly familiar saying © 2010 Miranda Haeg | more info (via: Wylio)

Boring old joke or saying
clipped from
Although its origins are in an English melodrama, it was an American
actor who coined its usage. The actor, William Warren, found occasion
to quote from 'The Broken Sword', a rather mediocre play by William Dillon.
One of the characters has the irritating habit of telling and retelling
the same stories and jokes. He is embarking upon one such tale about a
cork tree when his companion, Pablo, interrupts crying.'A Chestnut, I
should know as well as you, having heard you tell the tale these
twenty-seven times, and I'm sure it was a chestnut'.
Warren, who played the part of Pablo in the melodrama, was at a dinner
one evening when a fellow guest started to recount a well-worn and
rather elderly anecdote, whereupon Warren murmured, 'A chestnut. I
have heard you tell the tale these twenty-seven times'.The rest of the
company was delighted with Warrens very appropriate quoting from the
play and it was not long before news of the incident had spread amongst
their aquaintances and beyond.
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