Idioms, Cliches, and Slang
Word and Phrase Origins
Famous Quotations

What is the Origin of a watched pot never boils?


Top Answer
User Avatar
Wiki User
2010-12-07 19:37:41
2010-12-07 19:37:41

The exact origin of the phrase is unclear, but the meaning is very clear indeed:

A pot of water is going to boil in exactly the same length of time whether or not you watch it, but if you are so impatient that you need to keep watching in the hope it will boil more quickly it will seem to take forever to come to boiling point.

The phrase, "A watched pot never boils" contains a warning against giving in to impatience; it'll do you no good at all and will only serve to make you and those around you uncomfortable.

Of course, if you occupy yourself with something else while waiting for the pot to boil, it will be boiling away like mad before you know it.

You see a good example of this kind of impatience every day in the elevator lobby of any building: there's always someonewho'll come along, see the button lit up to indicate the elevator's already been called, but still has to hit the lit-up button again. Sometimes they'll stare at the button and hit it several times, as if they can somehow make the elevator arrive more quickly.

Once in the elevator, even if someone else has already pressed the button for their floor, they still have to press it again!

None of this makes the elevator arrive faster, or get to its floors more quickly: it just makes the impatient one more irritable and leaves many observers feeling vaguely uncomfortable.

I wonder whether the button-thumpers and those in their vicinity would all have a happier day if they spent the time in the lift lobby saying good morning to one another?

User Avatar

Related Questions

A watched pot never boils does not have an express origin. It is called an idiom. It means something else besides what it implies.

No, it is not. It is the past tense and past participle of the verb (to watch) and can be used as an adjective (e.g. a watched pot never boils).

Conan - 2010 A Watched Pot Never Boils and Other Total Lies 2-41 was released on: USA: 30 January 2012 Finland: 7 February 2012

Be patient. The things you desire will come to fruition in their own time.

the adage is a watched Pot never boils meaning don't waste your time whether you watch it or not it will boil in its own time

Watched pot never boils-Means don't pay too close attention to something that won't rapidly change or it will drive you crazy.

Watch your step!watch and learnwatch your backWatch out!A watched pot never boils.not on my watchwatch your spendingwatch your weight

water vapourizes when its temperature is higher than 100 degree Celsius. when the pot of water is immersed in 100C water bath, its temperature attains its maximum at 100C so no vapourization will occur.

5 word phrases beginning with A:all work and no playall things to all peopleask and you shall receivea watched pot never boilsa wolf in sheep's clothing

"Time doesn't go quickly when you are bored." More accurately, if you are anxious for some event to occur or some process to complete, continuously monitoring it for progress will do nothing to hasten that progress.

Because time seems more relevant when your waiting at the source for something to happen

A copper pot will boil water fastest

The Watched Pot - 1918 was released on: USA: 9 September 1918

It makes the pot warm and eventually boils the water

Most individuals want to be loved, but a 'watched pot never boils' which simply means you are looking too hard for love. It is when one least expects it that love finds you so get out with friends; have fun and one day you will find the love you are looking for.

Big bird!! Have y'all never watched sesame street.... God y'all are stupid

The lid prevents the heat from from escaping the pot.

it means that not being patient can make time seem to slow to a crawl therefore a watched pot will never boil

Sure it does. As long as you don't have ADD.

The water vapour rises and comes out and if it is heated for a longer period the water comes out of the pot.

What is wrong with you!? You should never smoke pot because it is horrible to your health. Never, ever even joke about it.

You just heat the temperature on the oven,fill a pot of water,put sausages in the pot and wait until the water boils,or until the label says to take them out!

A pot of water on a mountain top boils at a lower temperature than one in a valley because the air pressure is lower at higher elevation.

Copyright ยฉ 2020 Multiply Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. The material on this site can not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Multiply.