Posted by James Briggs on September 22, 2005
In Reply to: Slow boat posted by ESC on September 22, 2005
: : What does the idiom a slow boat to China mean?
: If someone has gone to the store, for example, and takes a long time returning, it might be said: "He must of taken a slow boat to China." When the West first started trading with China, it was before modern transportation. It was a long trip even on a fast boat, longer if one was on a slow boat.
If you go to http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mslowboatchina.html you'll see that the phrase was part of a popular song