Etymologie, Etimología, Étymologie, Etimologia, Etymology
CN China, China, Chine, Cina, China
Tee, Té, Thé, Té, Tea















Not for all the tea in China (W3)

Engl. "Not for all the tea in China" entspricht dem dt. "Nicht für alles Geld der Welt". Der Ausdruck, der um 1890 in Australien und Neuseeland aufkam, spielt auf China als bedeutenden Teeproduzent und den hohen Preis des Tees in dieser Zeit an.

The Chinese origin of the plant is remembered in the idiom "not for all the tea in China", meaning "certainly not", "not at any price", which originated in Australian slang of the 1890s.


Entry from March 05, 2009

“(Not for) All the tea in China”

"All the tea in China" means a great amount; the Chinese grow and consume large amounts of tea. "Not for all the tea in China" means that someone won’t do something, even for a great monetary reward.

Walter Scott’s novel Rob Roy (1817) contains: “A toast and tankard would have pleased her better than all the tea in China.” Throughout the 1800s, a good drink of something besides tea was sometimes said to be enjoyed more than "all the tea in China".

"Not for all the tea in China" appears in print in 1907, and the citations during this decade show that the phrase became popular in Australia and New Zealand before reaching the United States. The slang lexicographer Eric Partridge wrote that "not for all the tea in China" was an Australian colloquialism from the 1890s. In the 1920s, American gamblers used "all the tea in China" to mean a bet with everything riding on it.




"all the tea in China"

All the tea in China would be nearly 600,000 tons, according to the 1985 estimates of the United States Department of Agriculture. It may be an Americanism, but this expression denoting a great sum probably is of British origin and over a century old; the trouble is that no one has been able to authoritatively pin it down.

British slang for "a cup of tea" is "cuppa char". "Char" is a corruption of "cha", which means "tea" in England, deriving from the Mandarin "ch’a" for the same. "Tea" comes to us from the Chinese Amoy dialect "t’e". The scientific name of the tea plant, "Thea sinensis", sometimes grown in the United States, is the Latinized version of the Amoy name.

Tea bags weren’t invented until the turn of the century, when an American tea wholesaler named Sullivan began mailing prospective customers one-cup samples of his tea contained in little silk bags. The idea didn’t catch on because the cloth changed the flavor of the tea, but during World War II chemists developed a tasteless paper tea bag that became extremely popular and accounts for most of the tea sold in America today.

See also "all the tea in china"; "spot of tay"; "tempest in a teapot".

"tea caddy"

No relation to the "golf caddy", the "tea caddy", a small box for storing tea, takes its name from the Malayan "kati", "a weight of about 21 ounces", perhaps because tea used to be packed in 21-ounce boxes. See "tea".


Because it is used for serving tea, this small, often three-legged table takes its name from the drink. But the table’s name has nothing to do with "tea". Brought back from India by the British, the little table is named from the Hindi "teen", "three", and the Persian "pae", "foot", "footed".


29 ways to say no

Sometimes you need somebody to get the point, and a simple no won’t do it. We’ve taken a look through the Historical Thesaurus of the OED and other sources to find out how best to say no to something. Now you can say no daily for almost a whole month without repeating yourself (and then you can start using 22 ways to yes).
18. not for all the tea in China

This phrase, despite drawing on Britain’s national obsession, is actually originally from colloquial Australian English.


From teaspoons to tea-sots: the language of tea

Tea was first imported into Britain early in the 17th century, becoming very popular by the 1650s. The London diarist Samuel Pepys drank his first cup in 1660, as recorded in his famous diary: ‘I did send for a cup of tee (a China drink) of which I had never drunk before’. The word "tea" derives ultimately from the Mandarin Chinese word "chá", via the Min dialect form "te". The Mandarin word is also the origin of the informal word "char", heard today in phrases like "a nice cup of char". The Chinese origin of the plant is remembered in the idiom "not for all the tea in China", meaning "certainly not", "not at any price", which originated in Australian slang of the 1890s.


All the tea in China: English words of Chinese origin

An extract from the Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins.

Chinese civilization stretches back at least to the 3rd millennium BC. It is the source of many of the world’s great inventions, including paper, the compass, gunpowder, and printing, not to mention china (porcelain) itself.

But maybe the greatest contribution that the country and its language have made to the Western world is "tea". The drink is first mentioned in English in 1655. The Chinese source "chá" also gives us the slang term "char", as in "a nice cup of char", used from the early years of the 20th century. The Chinese connection is remembered in the emphatic refusal "not for all the tea in China", first found in US English in the early 20th century.


What's the origin of the phrase "Not for all the tea in China"?

This phrase originated around the late 19th/early 20th century and derives from the fact that China was well-known to produce tea in huge quantities. That is still the case and China now accounts for around a quarter of the world's production of tea. So, to decline the offer to do something "for all the tea in China" is to be determined not to do it, whatever inducement is offered.


What do you call a "saying" such as egg on your face? I get mixed up between "idioms", "colloquialisms", "slang", "jargon", "euphemisms", "clichés", "metaphors", "catch phrases", "aphorisms", and "similes".
"cliché": trite, obvious, overused expression, e.g., "beat a dead horse", "get off your high horse", "rain cats and dogs".

A "cliché" is a commonplace or stereotyped phrase that has been overused, such as "all the tea in China".

Teapots for all the tea:

14 Modern Teapots and Kettle Designs

(E1)(L1) for all the tea in China
Abfrage im Google-Corpus mit 15Mio. eingescannter Bücher von 1500 bis heute.

Engl. "Not for all the tea in China" taucht in der Literatur nicht signifikant auf.


Erstellt: 2018-03