dull as dishwater

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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