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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Old Chestnut found in an attic

A chestnut or "old Chestnut" is a reference to an old joke or story:

Slang sense of "venerable joke or story" is from 1885, explained 1888 by Joseph Jefferson (see "Lippincott's Monthly Magazine," January 1888) as probably abstracted from the 1816 melodrama "The Broken Sword" by William Dimond where an oft-repeated story involving a chestnut tree figures in an exchange between the characters "Captain Zavior" and "Pablo":

Whether this is true or not, the phase or term is actually British in origin, and in this case refers to a scrap of paper I found while picking through an attic in Bethlehem CT this past weekend.

Click on the image to read the joke, it's old but a good laugh.

1 comment:

  1. Ha! Love it! One never knows what you'll find in an attic - I hear the tea parties are spectacular!


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