It's on the tip of my tongue but I can't think of the expression referring to a repeated problem that gets verbalised; something like 'that old nugget'??!


Perhaps you're thinking of old chestnut.

  • 1
    "Old chestnut" would be more apt for jokes or aphorisms than for problems. – Jonathan Van Matre Jan 16 '14 at 13:47
  • Not necessarily, in my experience. The OED's definition begins, true enouigh, ‘a story that has been told before, a “venerable” joke’, but continues ‘hence, in extended use, anything trite, stale, or too often repeated.’ – Barrie England Jan 16 '14 at 15:28
  • Another way to indicate idiomatically that something is a recurring problem is to frame the description as "There's X, rearing its ugly head again." – Sven Yargs Jan 16 '14 at 19:02

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