A definition of wish-wash and a recipe for tea


1786. [redupl. Formation from wash sb). (III.3); cf. synon. swish-swash (XVI).] 1. A contemptuous name for weak, insipid or unsubstantial drink (or liquid food). 2. fig. Wishy-washy talk or writing 1842. Hence †Wi·sh-wa:shy a. = next.

Wishy-washy a. (int.) 1693. [redupl. formation on washy a.; cf. -Y¹.] 1. Of drink (or liquid food): Weak and insipid, sloppy 1791. 2. fig. a. Feeble or poor in constitution, condition or aspect; weakly, sickly. Now rare or Obs. 1703. b. Feeble or poor in quality or character; unsubstantial, 'milk-and-watery'. † Also rarely as int. = pish! tush! 1693.

To make tea

Scald and drain the teapot, put in the tea. The usual quantity is one teaspoon for each person and “one for the pot,” but in these days of weak digestions that quantity would be too strong for many people, so individual taste must be consulted. The most important thing in tea-making is that freshly-boiled water should be used. If it has boiled for any length of time, or boiled, become cool, and then re-boiled, it is quite unfit to make good tea, and will have a flat disagreeable taste. Pour off the leaves after it has stood for 3 minutes. Always rinse the teapot after use, and if not in daily use, dry thoroughly, and leave the lid slightly open.

man apparently in agony with fish biting his hand