See also, the meaning and origin of ' a kettle of fish '. A fine kettle of fish definition: an awkward situation ; mess | Meaning, pronunciation, translations and examples We hope that the following list of synonyms for the word fine kettle of fish will help you to finish your crossword today. What does kettle of fish expression mean? , cries Mrs. Tow-wouse, you have brought upon us! or a fine kettle of fish!, meaning that some awkward state of affairs has arisen. I have exposed several other folk etymologies, in particular in the following articles: Post was not sent - check your email addresses! – the mistaken origin of ‘white elephant’ in the Oxford English Dictionary GRAMMAR A-Z ; SPELLING ; PUNCTUATION ; WRITING TIPS ; USAGE ; EXPLORE . The noun kiddle has been used in various forms; for example, the English antiquarian and lexicographer Thomas Blount (1618-79) wrote, in Nomo-lexikon: A Law-dictionary (1670): Kiddle, Kidel, or Kedel: A Dam, or open Wear [= weir] in a River, with a loop or narrow cut in it, accommodated for the laying of Weels [= traps], or other Engins to catch Fish. Used with specific modifiers depending on the context, especially "fine" or "pretty" for something difficult or awkward, and "different" or "another" for something dissimilar. Also, a fine or pretty kettle of fish. The expression 'a different kettle of fish' has, as seems fitting, a different meaning, which is 'an alternative; a different thing altogether'. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. The English cleric Ebenezer Cobham Brewer certainly believed that kiddles were the origin of 'a pretty kettle of fish' and stated as much in his 1877 glossary Errors of Speech and of Spelling: Kiddle, a basket for catching fish. KETTLE OF FISH - A pretty or fine kettle of fish is a difficult problem or situation. Alan: Oh, no! Learn more. – meaning and origin of ‘the devil to pay’ – origin of ‘once in a blue moon’ This term is usually part of 'a fine kettle of fish', 'a pretty kettle of fish' etc, which mean 'a muddle or awkward state of affairs'. However, it is also a widely used phrase in the United States. An unpleasant or messy predicament, as in They haven't spoken in years, and they're assigned to adjoining seats—that's a fine kettle of fish. Learn more. – The usual explanation of ‘Hobson’s choice’ is fallacious. It is therefore most likely that the phrase a pretty kettle of fish originally referred to a net full of fish, which, when drawn up with its contents, is suggestive of confusion, flurry and disorder. The fish, thus prepared, is very firm, and accounted a most delicious food. Find more similar words at wordhippo.com! My husband is not here to meet me at the train station, and there's no phone here for me to call him. There is another origin from Scotland, a newspaper Carlisle Patriot published in June 1889. It is therefore difficult to understand why they should have become proverbially associated with muddle. By: sharecropperbob: Every year I take up my soup spoon, adjust my bib and continue my search for the best tasting seafood gumbo I can find. The origin of “a different kettle of fish” is traced back to Thomas Newte’s A Tour in England and Scotland published in 1785. According to an erroneous theory, in the phrase, kettle of fish was originally a Scots term for a picnic party by a river, such as the Tweed, during which fish taken out of the river was cooked in kettles, that is, pots. This term alludes to the Scottish riverside picnic called kettle of fish, where freshly caught salmon were boiled and eaten out of … "Those who worship sacred cows may be dead meat." the authentic origin of ‘to rain cats and dogs’, origin of ‘to buttonhole’ (to detain in conversation), meaning and origin of ‘the devil to pay’, original meaning of ‘to see the elephant’, the mistaken origin of ‘white elephant’ in the, a curious case of misunderstanding in the, mistaken etymology of ‘not to give a XXXX’ in the, the multiple meanings and origins of ‘P’s and Q’s’, meaning and origin of ‘Shanks’s pony’, the apple of one’s eye – la prunelle de ses yeux, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Licence. They’re still used today by some chefs, but a modern fish kettle is a whole other… thing, compared to 19th and 18th century ones, which were big, heavy, solid objects. Also, a fine or pretty kettle of fish. HAPPY AS LARRY - [Q] From Karl Haas; a similar question came from James Cartwright: “Who is Larry and why is he happy?” [A] A neat question, but American readers in particular will need some background before I can address it. By Julia S . The fish, thus prepared, is very firm, and accounted a most delicious food. – original meaning of ‘to see the elephant’ Only at Word Panda dictionary Only at Word Panda dictionary 0% And indeed, in the same edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, kettle net also appears under the headword kiddle, a noun denoting a dam or other barrier in a river, with an opening fitted with nets to catch fish. – origin of ‘point-blank’ The phrase “a different kettle of fish” is originated from the United Kingdom. The mackerel here are caught in large fixed nets, called kettle nets; hence, probably, the phrase ‘What a pretty kettle of fish!’, (The Oxford English Dictionary quotes this passage under the heading kiddle but curiously omits the conclusion, “hence, probably, the phrase ‘What a pretty kettle of fish!’”.). In plain English, a master is responsible for the acts of his servants, and he must either be sent to the right-about by the railway authorities hereafter, or boil a very different kettle of fish. (1740-41), an epistolary novel by Samuel Richardson (1689-1761): ‘Well, niece,’ strutting with his hands behind him, and his head held up—‘Ha!—, —han’t he!—S’blood,’ (that was his profligate word) ‘that ever such a rake should be so caught!’, The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews and of his Friend Mr. Abraham Adams, The surgeon had likewise at last visited him, and washed and dressed his wounds, and was now come to acquaint Mr. Tow-wouse, that his guest was in such extreme danger of his life, that he scarce saw any hopes of recovery.—. An unpleasant or messy predicament, as in They haven't spoken in years, and they're assigned to adjoining seats-that's a fine kettle of fish. We don't have anything to serve our guests as a main dish. has been used in various forms; for example, the English antiquarian and lexicographer Thomas Blount (1618-79) wrote, in, : A Dam, or open Wear [= weir] in a River, with a loop or narrow cut in it, accommodated for the laying of Weels [= traps], or other Engins to catch, . By the mid 18th century, the novelist Henry Fielding was using the phrase to mean a muddle. The unrelated noun kiddle is from Anglo-Norman forms such as kidel and Old French forms such as quidel, of obscure origin.). a pretty kettle of fish = a fine kettle of fish an awkward state of affairs – informal In late 18th-century Scotland, a kettle of fish was a large saucepan of fish, typically freshly caught salmon, cooked at Scottish picnics and the term was also applied to the picnic itself. One is yours, which means “This is a different matter from the one previously mentioned”. – origin of ‘Indian summer’ and French ‘été sauvage’ Primarily heard in US. Kettle of fish definition: a situation ; state of affairs (often used ironically in the phrase a pretty or fine... | Meaning, pronunciation, translations and examples ENGLISH DICTIONARY; SYNONYMS; TRANSLATE; GRAMMAR . This gem is a mixture of “a fine kettle of fish” and “a can of worms”, both meaning to describe a difficult situation or problem. (idiomatic) A situation which is recognized as different from or as an alternative to some other situation, and which is not necessarily unfavorable. – origin of ‘to buttonhole’ (to detain in conversation) My choice is the gulf coast from Alabama all the way to Texas. A difficult or awkward situation; a mess. – clew – clue In this case, the story goes that the phrase originally alluded to the confusion of bones, heads and skin that was left in the kettles after the fish had been eaten during an entertainment by a river—notwithstanding that in the above-mentioned book William Thomson wrote that “the fish, thus prepared, is very firm”…. – to buy a pig in a poke vs. to let the cat out of the bag This erroneous theory might be due to the fact that in the Oxford English Dictionary, kettle of fish in the sense of picnic party and the phrase a pretty kettle of fish are under the same headword [see footnote]. – between the devil and the deep blue sea The phrase happy as Larry seems to … Example sentences with kettle of fish … The mackerel here are caught in large fixed nets, called. An unpleasant or messy predicament, as in They haven't spoken in years, and they're assigned to adjoining seats-that's a fine kettle of fish. Fine kettle of fish definition at Dictionary.com, a free online dictionary with pronunciation, synonyms and translation. Also, a fine or pretty kettle of fish. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Kettle of Fish is a 2006 American romantic comedy film written and directed by Claudia Myers and starring Matthew Modine and Gina Gershon. I thought I paid the credit card bill, but it turns out that I missed the due date by a week. You can find it just about anywhere you can smell the salt in the air. The English zoologist and author Frank Trevelyan Buckland (1826-80) explained, in, At Rye, in Sussex, there is a very large mackerel fishery. But this is not the case since these earliest attestations appear in books written by Englishmen and set in English contexts: – In Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded (1740-41), an epistolary novel by Samuel Richardson (1689-1761): ‘Well, niece,’ strutting with his hands behind him, and his head held up—‘Ha!—He has made a fine kettle on’t—han’t he!—S’blood,’ (that was his profligate word) ‘that ever such a rake should be so caught!’. Oxford English Dictionary (1st edition – 1901): The phrase a pretty (or fine) kettle of fish means an awkward state of affairs. WORD ORIGINS ; LANGUAGE QUESTIONS ; WORD LISTS; SPANISH DICTIONARY; More. Well first of all, a fish kettle is not the same as a common modern kettle used for boiling water for a nice cup of tea. That is another kettle of fish entirely. A Fine Kettle of Fish. "Hurry and finish eating!" Explained: How EU-UK talks on British waters turned into a fine kettle of fish; Explained: How EU-UK talks on British waters turned into a fine kettle of fish EU negotiators have said that if the UK refuses to share its waters, the bloc would deny special access to British fisheries to the European single market. , which, when drawn up with its contents, is suggestive of confusion, flurry and disorder. – In The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews and of his Friend Mr. Abraham Adams (1742), by Henry Fielding: The surgeon had likewise at last visited him, and washed and dressed his wounds, and was now come to acquaint Mr. Tow-wouse, that his guest was in such extreme danger of his life, that he scarce saw any hopes of recovery.—Here’s a pretty kettle of fish, cries Mrs. Tow-wouse, you have brought upon us! 'A pretty kiddle of fish' corrupted into 'A pretty kettle of fish'. (The noun kettle is from Old English cetel, cietel, of Germanic origin, based on Latin catillus, diminutive of catinus, meaning deep container for cooking or serving food. Find out all about a Fine Kettle of Fish : meaning, pronunciation, synonyms, antonyms, origin, difficulty, usage index and more. a pretty/fine kettle of fish definition: 1. a very difficult and annoying situation 2. a very difficult and annoying situation. This information should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. This is a fine kettle of fish. He is come again," sang Mrs. Bennet, peering out the breakfast room window. "Fine kettle of fish" is an idiomatic English expression describing a difficult predicament or a confusing, chaotic state of affairs. This term alludes to the Scottish riverside picnic called kettle of fish, where freshly caught salmon were boiled and eaten out of … Learn more, including how we use cookies and how you can change your settings. […] Fishermen corruptly call them Kettles. It is stated to have mentioned it. I analyzed the phenomenon of aphorisms and epigrams, both serious and whimsical, and coined some of my own: "There's nothing worse than unrequited love--except a margin call." I thought I paid the credit card bill, but it turns out that I missed the due date by a week. This means, additionally, that the phrase is first recorded long before Thomas Newte observed the Scottish “fêtes champêtres” in 1785. Farlex Trivia Dictionary. He comes across Lizzy at an awkward moment, but this is not the only pickle she will find herself in this day!) There is no relation between kettle in the sense of a vessel and kettle net, because in the latter term kettle is a variant of kiddle. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. The other is more of an exclamation: either as a pretty kettle of fish! The bar was opened in 1950 on MacDougal Street, but in 1987 it relocated to the former site of Gerde's Folk City, before moving again in 1999 to its current location on Christopher Street. A It’s originally British. .” Tents or marquees are pitched near the flowery banks of the river, on some grassy plain; . What are synonyms for a fine kettle of fish? A Fine Kettle Of Fish! Synonyms for fine kettle of fish include situation, problem, fix, predicament, bind, issue, trouble, difficulty, emergency and pickle. This is a fine kettle of fish. What is the meaning of a fine kettle of fish? Get a kettle of fish mug for your father Günter. Dictionary, Encyclopedia and Thesaurus - The Free Dictionary, the webmaster's page for free fun content, GETTING THERE IS HALF THE PUN: "Selected Shorts" from 17 Years of Wordplay Articles, Ortayly: 50 years from now, people will curse these days, House that Jill built: a lesbian nation in formation, Strike while the irony is hot: humorous proverbs, Fine Granular Scalability with Selective Enhancement. Well, that's a pretty kettle of fish. – mistaken etymology of ‘not to give a XXXX’ in the Oxford English Dictionary In the 18th century, "kettle" referred to any large pot used to boil water or food; the small pot used to boil water for tea was a "tea-kettle." kettle of fish idiom meaning. https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/fine+kettle+of+fish. The latter is much older, dating from the eighteenth century, while yours is twentieth-century and seems to be derived from it. The usual explanation of ‘Hobson’s choice’ is fallacious. This term alludes to the Scottish riverside picnic called kettle of fish, where freshly caught salmon were boiled and eaten out … Search a fine kettle of fish and thousands of other words in English definition and synonym dictionary from Reverso. Sorry no origin, only meanings. Definition of kettle of fish by the Dictionary of American Idioms. – the authentic origin of ‘to rain cats and dogs’ It was a long dish used for cooking (mainly poaching) whole fish. We are like to have a funeral at our own expense. See also related terms for mess. The term came to refer to the party at which the fish were served as well as to the method of cooking the fish. "Stagger your deadlines, or they'll stagger you." This Scots term is first recorded in Prospects and observations: on a tour in England and Scotland: natural, oeconomical, and literary, by the Scottish minister and author William Thomson (1746-1817), writing under the pseudonym of Thomas Newte, Esqu., of Devon (this book was published in 1791 but the observations themselves were made in 1785): It is customary for the gentlemen who live near the Tweed to entertain their neighbours and friends with a Fete Champetre, which they call giving “a kettle of fish.” Tents or marquees are pitched near the flowery banks of the river, on some grassy plain; a fire is kindled, and live salmon thrown into boiling kettles. – the multiple meanings and origins of ‘P’s and Q’s’. There is an obvious error in the Oxford English Dictionary (1st edition – 1901): under the headword kettle in the general sense of a vessel for boiling water or other liquids, appears the term kettle net, meaning a form of net used in fishing for mackerel. 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