price of tea in China

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

The price of tea in China was an important topic in England during and around the 19th century. It was often mentioned in the British House of Commons.

Noun[edit]

price of tea in China (uncountable)

  1. (idiomatic) Something that is irrelevant or unimportant, usually used to emphasize the lack of relationship of a non sequitur.
    • 1992, Frederic S. Mishkin, The economics of money, banking, and financial markets[1], ISBN 0673521419, page 449:
      If the Fed can accurately and quickly measure the price of tea in China and can completely control its price, what good will it do? The Fed cannot use the price of tea in China to affect unemployment or the price level in the United States.
  2. (literally) The wholesale or retail price of tea in the country of China.
    • 1800, John Taylor, Letters on India, Political, commercial and military[2], page 159:
      The Company should enjoy the exclusive right to the trade with China in teas, raw silk, ... and that particularly in the article of tea, or the difference between the price of tea in China, and that paid for the same article at the Company's sales in London.
    • 1846, Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons, Parliamentary papers, House of Commons and Command, Volume 44[3], page 259a6:
      ...the consumption of so much additional Tea; again, this increase of 21 millions of Tea to our imports, would require an additional export of British manufactures in exchange ; taking, therefore, the average price of Tea in China at 24 taels per picul, the result would be, 157,500 piculs, at 24 taels, is 3,780,000 L., or an increase of 1,150,250 L. of exports to China

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