Cost of tea in China

Posted by R. Berg on July 13, 2003

In Reply to: Cost of tea in china posted by Caryn on July 13, 2003

: Where does the phrase "What does that have to do with the cost of tea in China?" originate from?

Eric Partridge, Dictionary of Catch Phrases: American and British, from the Sixteenth Century to the Present Day, says this one is a variant of "What's that got to do with the price of eggs?" and has been around "since the 1940s--perhaps influenced by the expression, e.g. 'I wouldn't do that, not for all the tea in China.'" He identifies the "eggs" saying as "US: since the 1920s, if not earlier."