Saw (saying)

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A saw is an old saying or commonly repeated phrase or idea; a conventional wisdom. While "old saw" is a common phrase for "saw", some consider it a tautology.[1][2]

Among various synonyms for "saying", dictionaries from 18th century singled out "saw" as a vulgar, uneducated wisdom, often based in supersititions.[3] This flavor is seen in the expressions "old women's saws" and "old wife's saws."

See also


  1. The Columbia Guide to Standard American English, Kenneth George Wilson (1993) ISBN 0-231-06989-8, p. 381
  2. Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Synonyms, article "Saying"
  3. "English Synonymes: With Copious Illustrations and Explanations" (1863) p. 211

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