Who Wants a Dull and Boring Relationship?

Dull and boring are synonyms (words with a similar meaning). They both mean uninteresting, not very exciting, or not entertaining. You can use them together in a sentence: “He was a dull, boring speaker who put me to sleep.” As of June of this year, however, dull and boring have an entirely (completely) new relationship.

Dull, you see, is not just an adjective in English. It’s also the name of a village (very small town) in Scotland. And Elizabeth Leighton, who is from Dull, was here in the United States not too long ago (recently), bicycling through the state of Oregon, located just north of California. As she was riding her bike, she came across (discovered without looking for it) another town with a similar name: Boring, Oregon. And then it hit her (suddenly she had a great idea or realized something important): Dull and Boring should be sister cities!

Sister cities are when two different towns or cities in different countries decide form a “relationship,” usually sending gifts or representatives to the other city (we talked about sister cities in English Cafe #234). Los Angeles has 25 different sister cities, including Beirut (Lebanon), Berlin (Germany), and Nagoya (Japan).

Dull and Boring wanted to be sister cities, too, but there was a problem: Dull is too small to be an “official” sister city for Boring. That fact didn’t stop the residents (people who live in) Dull and Boring, however. The citizens of Dull voted to “pair” (associate, put together) the two cities anyway. So now, when you drive into Dull, you will see a sign that says the two towns are paired.

If you ever visit Dull or Boring, be sure to let us know.  I’m sure you’ll have a real exciting time there.


Photo credit: Boring, Oregon sign, Wikipedia CC

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15 Responses to Who Wants a Dull and Boring Relationship?

  1. Fernando says:

    Hello Jeff,

    I read the news on BBC website and I’d noticed the following sentence: “The potential link between the two locations was the brainchild of Perthshire.”

    So, What does brainchild stand for?

    I’m sorry for some english’s mistake.

    Thank you.

  2. Sara says:

    Thanks Dear Dr.jeff for it.

  3. Eye says:

    Excellent site. A lot of helpful information here. I am sending it to several buddies ans also sharing in delicious. And of course, thanks on your sweat!

  4. Gerson says:

    Hi Jeff!

    Big job you guys have been doing to me. My English is really getting “better than ever”.
    Fernando, I don’t know for sure, but here is my two cents: brainchild can mean an idea that is “child”. I mean an idea or plan that someone has fought of without any help of anyone else.

    Thank you Jeff and Lucy for making my life happier!


  5. Iraj says:

    Hey there Jejj,
    It is sweet of you to familiarize us with the ibolts and nuts of English. Keep up the good job!

    Iraj from Iran

  6. Peter says:

    So ,in a way ,they are common wealth countries:)
    I m wondering if Toronto has a sister city.Probably not
    Toronto is an indian name means a big village. It must be hard to find a city across the world with a simmilar name.
    I am wondering who named the city who jeff habitats “LosAngelous ” ?
    What does it mean ?
    Any body care to answer?

    Regards ,

    Curious Peter :))

  7. Peter says:

    Oh , I m Teribbly sorry
    I meant reside
    I thought habitat meant like reside
    I just checked
    I meant where Jeff lives

    I feel embarresed
    Tribly sorry
    Poor use of word

  8. Nele says:


    when i was young, every year there was a summer event, a sport meeting with teenagers from all sister cities of my hometown: from the Netherlands, Sweden, France, Germany, Italy, Yugoslavia and Austria. Every year in another sister city. Great!

    Another point, they are not sister cities, but the two towns are located side by side: Süssen und Kuchen. That means Sweet (or Sweeten) and Cake. What´s the history of this city names 🙂

    Regards Nele

  9. Peter says:

    There is this movie on the screen called “Perimum Rush.”
    Who would think one day a fast-pace thriller bicycle  riding on the surface streets of NewYork would tight you on your seats. But, it does. It really does.
    The cycling in the infamous NewYork traffic get the audience engaged ; moreover, they get a brief view of famously beautiful NewYork city. The movie takes place all over the big apple.

    I watched the movie just yesterday. As long as you guys check your expectation before watching the movie ,I can assure,you will be delivered a bundle package of sheer adrenaline rush and a bunch of superb stunts.( clever,huh, good sentence I made there.delivering a letter is the whole plot a the movie:)))

    The whole movie develops around delivering a parcel by a cycler and the villain is a vice cop ( a corrupt cop) who wants the package so bad.

    If you are into action packed genre ,u gonna love it. 

    By the way,don’t forget a large bucket of pop corn. The movie is totally popcorn worthy with lots of butter on top of course! after all, to get totally engaged , you need to boost the adrenalin rush. The butter would  jump start the rush that is for sure:))))

    Sincerely yours 

    The movie buff:))

  10. Dipodidae says:

    Hello, again!
    What is advantages for citiezens that their towns got new status?

  11. tania says:

    Hi! Thank you for the new meaning of the word “dull”.
    I have only known the meaning of the “dull color” (not vivid or bright).

  12. tania says:

    Hi! A dull and boring relationship?
    No, thank you.

  13. Nele says:

    1. Dipodidae Says:
    September 13th, 2012 at 5:54 am
    Hello, again!
    What is advantages for citiezens that their towns got new status?

    Hi Dipodidae,

    you asked what the advantage is for cities to get sister cities?
    I think the idea is that people from different countries learn more about one another. the other language, culture, history, daily life. On a personal level. Sometimes you go frequently to the sister city, with your sport club, the music band or the town officials or just for holiday.

    My hometown was a member in a group of sister cities spread about europe. As a teen I come together with teens from all our sister cities, use my language skills, meet and talk to people from the outher countries, have fun and do sports together.

    When the boarder between East- and West-Germany has fallen, in the following years there emerged many partnerships between east and west cities, cities with similar size become sister cities. To learn from each other, to help each other, to knew more about the life in the previously seperated parts.

    The more you know about the other, the more you can understand one another. Far as I know the idea started in europe after worldwar II.

  14. Betty says:

    Dear Jeff

    Thank you for this interesting topic. When I saw the title of this article, I thought you asked us about a real ‘relationship’. It is very clever of you to come up with this title which can be a question or a statement.

    It seems to me that, in this case, ‘Dull’ is actually more eager to have a relationship with ‘Boring’. Boring finally accepted the proposal from ‘Dull’, but the union cannot be official. Dull seems to be very happy, even though it is unofficial.

    I think at first people in Boring thought: “Who Wants a Dull and Boring Relationship?”

    At the end, the people in Boring did not want to upset ‘Dull’ which was going to turn from ‘Dull’ to ‘Sad’ if ‘Boring’ turned it down. So, just for the sake of pleasing ‘Dull’, they said “yes, we can be a ‘pair’”.


    Thanks again, Jeff, for letting me write something which I hope is not too boring.

    Betty 🙂

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