"all the tea in China"
Posted by ESC on November 11, 2004
In Reply to: "All the tea in China" posted by Reese on November 11, 2004
: Obliquely attributed to prohibition-era NYC Irish-American gangster Owen "Owney the Killer" Madden in Stanley Walker's 1933 book "The Night Club Era".
A source. Excellent! All I can add is: "America's China trade or tea trade began in 1784 when the new Empress of China, named for its destination, sailed to the Orient." from Listening to America: An Illustrated History of Words and Phrases from Our Lively and Splendid Past by Stuart Berg Flexner.