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(as) dull as ditchwater

Very boring or unexciting. This phrase is often used to describe a person. My date with Dave was not great—he is as dull as ditchwater. I fell asleep during that movie because it was as dull as ditchwater. That lady is nice enough, but she's just dull as ditchwater. Like, I didn't need a 10 minute recap about how she almost lost her keys this morning.
See also: ditchwater, dull
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

*dull as dishwater

 and *dull as ditch water
very uninteresting. (*Also: as ~.) I'm not surprised that he can't find a partner. He's as dull as dishwater. Mr. Black's speech was as dull as dishwater.
See also: dishwater, dull
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

dull as dishwater

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 also: dishwater, dull
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

dull as ditchwater


dull as dishwater

If someone or something is as dull as ditchwater or as dull as dishwater, they are very boring. He's a dull writer and that's a fact. Dull as ditchwater. `Most of the politicians in Ontario are dull as dishwater,' he said. Note: The expression `dull as ditchwater' is over 200 years old, whereas `dull as dishwater' is a more recent variant. The reference is to the dull dirty colour of the water in ditches or in washing-up bowls.
See also: ditchwater, dull
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

dull as dishwater (or ditchwater)

extremely dull.
See also: dishwater, dull
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

(as) dull as ˈditchwater

(British English) (American English (as) dull as ˈdishwater) very boring: Best-seller or not, the book sounds as dull as ditchwater to me.
See also: ditchwater, dull
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

dull as dishwater

See also: dishwater, dull
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

dull as dishwater

Flat, boring. This expression began life in the eighteenth century as dull as ditchwater, alluding to the muddy color of the water in roadside gullies. “He’d be sharper than a serpent’s tooth, if he wasn’t as dull as ditchwater,” says Dickens’s Fanny Cleaver (Oliver Twist). This version survived on both sides of the Atlantic well into the twentieth century. Either through careless pronunciation or through similar analogy it occasionally became dishwater—water in which dishes had been washed and which consequently was dingy and grayish.
See also: dishwater, dull
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
"We've just had the annual conference in Glasgow and, to be honest, it was dull as ditchwater.
Kangkong grows in any kind of ditchwater. If your ditch is a clean ditch you can pick the leaves and stems and fry them with belachan.
Me: dull as ditchwater, and bookish going on nerdy.
An aggressive overseas acquisition strategy has enabled the once ' dull as ditchwater' Tata Group turn into a feared conglomerate.
The patient in this report had not eaten watercress or other aquatic plants and had not ingested ditchwater. However, he had worked in and around ditches on farms in the area, admitted chewing grass sporadically, and might have occasionally ingested vegetables previously fertilized with livestock manure.
In reality it's the Gulf Information and Technology Exhibition, which sounds as dull as ditchwater. How about the 'Gizmotorium Emporium'?
Under 2.5 goals is now as short as 4-9 in places and a number of bookmakers cut the draw yesterday following the afternoon games which were as dull as ditchwater.
Even the parts of your workaday life that you usually take satisfaction from, can seem as dull as ditchwater. But the upside of this is that it can push you to do something different.
It was the flash of inspiration Chelsea needed because three days after their super-show against Rosenborg in Norway they were dull as ditchwater.
Montgomery John Goodman Ken Patrick Warburton Mooseblood Chris Rock Janet Benson Kathy Bates Martin Benson Barry Levinson Bee Larry King Larry King Ray Liotta Ray Liotta Sting Sting Judge Bumbleton Oprah Winfrey Buzzwell Larry Miller Trudy Megan Mullally Lou Lo Duca Rip Torn Bud Ditchwater Michael Richards Jackson Mario Joyner Amiable but no more, "Bee Movie" puts a hiveful of potent talent at the service of a zig-zigging, back-of-an-envelope story that's short on surprise and originality.
And so the couple begin the epic journey back to Wall, encountering a conniving witch called Ditchwater Sal (Hill) and myriad dangers along the way.
"what certainty / in the body at its end?/And between here and there?" His diction is direct and clear and his poems are filled with concrete details that ring true and familiar, "green clabber I scumming puddles alongside the train, / then brickyards banked on body shops, / homeless trackside nappers under trees,/ ditchwater where shopping carts come to drink..." Yet Di Piero himself is always wary, slightly skeptical of the material world, consistently being pulled toward some "uncertainty where/I feel most at home...."
Whichever way you choose to fill your cistern, the next steps are common to both rainwater catchment and ditchwater. A water pump like a shallow well pump or irrigation pump is connected to the pipe coming from the cistern, and then there is a pressure tank, which allows the water to accumulate a pressure reserve, just like in a well.
Looking at Fernando and Fernandinho sitting in front of the Manchester City back four, then watching Schneiderlin and Schweinsteiger provide a mirror image on the other side made what should have been a firecracker of a fixture as dull as ditchwater.
It's the fact that Grimmy is as dull as ditchwater.