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old wives' tale noun [ C ] uk /ˌəʊld ˈwaɪvzˌteɪl/ us /ˌoʊld ˈwaɪvzˌteɪl/. › a piece of advice or a theory, often related to matters of health, that was believed in the past but is now known to be wrong. Thesaurus: synonyms and related words. Giving advice. advice. advise. backseat driver.What is the origin of Old Wives' Tales?
The oral tradition. Old wives' tales originate in the oral tradition of storytelling. They were generally propagated by illiterate women, telling stories to each other or to children. The stories do not attempt to moralise, but to teach lessons and make difficult concepts like death or coming of age easy for children to understand.What's an Old Wives'Tale?
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. The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.Is there an old wives'tale about reading in the dark?
There's an old wives' tale in that country that the team who take the pitch first always loses. But don't believe the old wives' tale that it gets garlic off your breath. Old wives' tale: Reading in the dark or dim light will damage your eyes.