Rate this phrase:0.0 / 0 votes

Old Wives' Tale

False information, usually erroneous belief, traditional unscientific belief, myth


  • The origin of this idiom dates back to around 300 B.C. This expression was first used by a famous Greek philosopher by the name of Plato. Many scholars like Erasmus then used the expression in their writings in the 16th century. The idiom “old wives” demonstrates the nature of people who always based their advised on some superstition. Some of the examples of the superstitious tales are “don’t touch a frog or you’ll get warts”, “it is bad luck to walk under a ladder” and “feed a cold and starve a fever,” All these superstitions make no sense in the present world.

I fear for her as she keeps on repeating acts that are considered old wives’ tales.

Submitted on February 25, 2019


Find a translation for the Old Wives' Tale phrase in other languages:

Geschichte alter Frauen

cuento de viejas


Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Nearby phrases

Some more phrases from our dictionary similar to Old Wives' Tale

How to pronounce this phrase?

Discuss this Old Wives' Tale phrase with the community:



    Use the citation below to add this Old Wives' Tale definition to your bibliography:


    "Old Wives' Tale." Phrases.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 17 Jul 2024. <https://www.phrases.com/phrase/old-wives-tale_44888>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest human-edited phrases collection on the web!


    Are you a phrases master?

    Don't steal my _________ !
    A thunder
    B money
    C noise
    D lightening

    Browse Phrases.com