Posted by RRC on December 06, 2006
In Reply to: Dull posted by Brian from Shawnee on December 06, 2006
: : : : : : AS DULL AS DITCH WATER
: : : : :
: : : : : Have you ever looked at the water in ditches? Generally it is not clear and sparkling, but dull.
: : : : When a phrase is posted with no sign of a question, I never know whether the person wants an explanation or is proposing that the phrase be added to the database. ~rb
: : : I usually check when posting (assuming it's a question of meaning) against the archives. But it is mysterious - if there's a question of meaning or origin, why people use as few words as possible in order to be as unclear as possible: is it a question of origin, or meaning? A question of why we don't post it? A marvelous discovery we should post? No context here - riddle me this, Batman.
: : T. Wilson is sharing information. And that's a good thing.
: The phrase strikes me as a mis-hearing of "dull as dish water". In the modern industrial world, at least, dish water is more familiar than ditch water.
"Dull as dishwater" does get about twice as many Google hits but from looking it up, it seems to be more recent (and possibly American) than the ditchwater version. There's also "dishwater blonde" to confuse things - a dull brownish yellow.