dull as dishwater


  1. water in which dishes are, or have been, washed.
  1. dull as dishwater/ditchwater, extremely dull; boring.


  1. water in which dishes and kitchen utensils are or have been washed
  2. something resembling thisthat was dishwater, not coffee

also dish-water, “water where dishes have been washed,” late 15c., from dish (n.) + water (n.). Used figuratively of weak broth, coffee, etc., from 1719.

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.

see dull as dishwater.

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