Usually as soon as someone does not think your present statement needs to do v the conversation at hand they have the right to ask, "What go that need to do with the price the tea in China"?

Where go that type of explain come from?




You are watching: What does that have to do with the price of tea in china

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Eric Partridge, "A dictionary of catch Phrases," says this one is a variant of "What"s that obtained to perform with the price that eggs?" and also has been around "since the 1940s--perhaps affected by the expression, e.g. "I wouldn"t execute that, not for all the tea in China."" He identify the "eggs" saying together "US: because the 1920s, if no earlier."


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The finish expression is in reality the following question: "What walk that need to do with the price that tea in China?"

The price that tea in China is fully irrelevant come the topic of conversation. So, when someone asks this question, it way they’re really surprised by the listener"s comments. Effectively, they"re saying:

Why execute you speak that?What space you talking about?What does that need to do v anything?What does that have to do through what we room talking about?

The Wikipedia article Irene pointed out is quite good.


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No one below seems to have actually actually reply the concern in regards to the origin. The expression is thought to have begun in 19th century England where the yes, really price that tea in China was of interest. When someone in the British home of Commons stated something others felt to be irrelevant, it to be met through this saying... Meaning, the price the tea in China is a appropriate topic, yet yours is not.


I am going to agree with the "evolution" that a sarcastic answer native a sarcastic answer native a genuine answer come a actual problem: Meaning, initially A lot of England"s money and finance to be tied increase in the price that tea - in ~ the unloading docks in London each year. "Tea races" were extremely looked at events covering months of travel and high drama native China around Cape Horn come England to obtain the very first cargo ago to London! It influenced what everyone drunk and how much everybody bought and paid for your meals and also drinks. Very, very important - as with today, the price the oil IS a daily report top top the news and in the stock markets.

But, in China, at the China docks? A tiny bit much less important, but relevent. People, companies, industries made your yearly revenues - and thus the yearly wages and also salaries and also earnings for everybody indigenous the owner come the stockholders to the lowest laborer - on just how much the distinction in price of tea was in between the China docks and the London sales rooms. A late ship, a shed ship or spoiled tea product? Disaster. A poor market in China or a poor growing year or starvation or a crop failure over there?