There are many interesting and quirky idioms used in the English language.
Truth is they exist in every language.
The idiom “as slow as molasses in January” is a way of saying something is very, very slow.
It is often shortened to “as slow as molasses“.
First of all, what are molasses?
Probably not a word that you find in your typical English textbook, but it will be in your mother’s recipe books.
As you know, it is a very thick brown syrup which is separated from raw sugar.
When you pour it out of a bottle, it comes out very slowly.
In January, it is the winter in the northern hemisphere and quite cold.
Therefore, molasses pours even slower still.
In the southern hemisphere they might say, “As slow as molasses in July!”
“As slow as molasses in January” means that something is slow, glacial, and plodding. About the only thing slower is a dead snail!
This idiom in Action –
“Son, when it comes to taking out the trash, you are as slow as molasses in January! Please hurry up!”
“The traffic in Washington is as slow as molasses in January.”
Is this a saying you used to hear when you were young?
Try sharing it with your grandchildren next time you are baking with molasses. They won’t forget the saying as you mix molasses into the cookie dough!