dull as dishwater

dishwater

[dish-waw-ter, -wot-er]
noun
1.
water in which dishes are, or have been, washed.
Idioms
2.
dull as dishwater/ditchwater, extremely dull; boring.

Origin:
1475–85; dish + water

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
dishwater (ˈdɪʃˌwɔːtə)
 
n
1.  water in which dishes and kitchen utensils are or have been washed
2.  something resembling this: that was dishwater, not coffee

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

dull as dishwater

Boring, tedious, as in That lecture was dull as dishwater. The original simile, dull as ditchwater, dating from the 1700s, alluded to the muddy water in roadside ditches. In the first half of the 1900s, perhaps through mispronunciation, it became dishwater, that is, the dingy, grayish water in which dirty dishes had soaked.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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