Common mistake old wise tail (old wives' tale)

An old wives' tale is a traditional belief or superstition that is passed down through generations. It is often based on folklore and lacks scientific evidence. However, many people mistakenly refer to it as an "old wise tail," which is incorrect.

The difference between "old wise tail" and "old wives' tale"

The incorrect phrase "old wise tail" is a common mistake that happens due to mishearing or misinterpreting the correct term "old wives' tale." Here's what each word in the correct term signifies:

  • Old: Refers to something that is ancient or from a previous generation.
  • Wives: Plural form of "wife," which means married women.
  • Tale: A story or account of events, especially one that is fictitious or based on superstition.

When combined, "old wives' tale" refers to a story or belief that has been passed down through generations, typically from older women. The phrase is used to describe and debunk common misconceptions or unfounded beliefs.

Examples of old wives' tales:

  • Cracking your knuckles will give you arthritis.
  • If you swallow chewing gum, it stays in your stomach for seven years.
  • A black cat crossing your path brings bad luck.
  • Eating carrots improves your eyesight.
  • Going outside with wet hair will make you catch a cold.

It's important to note that these beliefs are not based on scientific evidence and are often discouraged by experts in their respective fields.

Lastly, if you want to avoid confusion and ensure your writing is free from grammatic

old wise tail (old wives' tale) mistake examples

  • Incorrect:
    The story of the monster was only an old wise tail.

    The story of the monster was only an old wives' tale.

Linguix Browser extension
Fix your writing
on millions of websites
Linguix pencil
This website uses cookies to make Linguix work for you. By using this site, you agree to our cookie policy