What is the meaning of "slow boring of hard boards"?

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2 Answers 2


Quoting a bit more:

"Politics is a strong and slow boring of hard boards. It takes both passion and perspective"

If you want to bore (i.e. drill) a hole in hard wood, you need to do it slowly to avoid overheating and consequently dulling your drill, making it less useful or even useless for further work. That is why you need "passion and perspective" to do it right.

The author of the quote might also have intentionally chosen his wording to make it a play on the word "boring", whose alternative meaning is uninteresting/tiring. This is improbable, though, because the next sentence expresses the opposite sentiment, passion.


In this context, I think that "boring" is used as in the phrase "to bore a hole in." That is, it means something similar to "drilling," rather than "dull or uninteresting." Consequently, the phrase means "slowly drilling through hard boards," something that metaphoricially takes a long time and concerted effort, like digging a hole through concrete.

Hope this helps!

  • Yes! Now it make sense. I though by 'boring' author meant the verb 'bore' as in boredom.
    – Dilawar
    Jul 5, 2012 at 6:00

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