Well, that's a pretty kettle of fish. See also, the meaning and origin of ' a kettle of fish '. 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. It's not an easy job, but I'm up to the task again this year. 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." 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. – 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! – meaning and origin of ‘the devil to pay’ The expression 'a different kettle of fish' has, as seems fitting, a different meaning, which is 'an alternative; a different thing altogether'. 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. "Open a can of worms and you'll wind up in a, All of which is just icing on the cake, really, because voters cannot have their cake and eat it, too, not with the quality of the candidates, a useless party system, and the electoral maze contributing to a, And moving away from biblical judgments, he fashioned for the good angels to remedy not so much a theological crisis as a ", Oral testimonies from a variety of sources on all sides of the arguments make Ross's section on maintaining LOOT's sexual orthodoxy very interesting and accessible, and she makes good use of them to show that the feminist movement was sometimes "a, Open a can of worms and you may wind up in a. Only at Word Panda dictionary Only at Word Panda dictionary 0% 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." 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”…. 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!’. This means, additionally, that the phrase is first recorded long before Thomas Newte observed the Scottish “fêtes champêtres” in 1785. We've arranged the synonyms in length order so that they are easier to find. It is stated to have mentioned it. kettle of fish - Meaning "mess, muddle," the phrase is from "a pretty kettle of fish," a corruption of "kiddle of fish," in which a kiddle is a basket set in the opening of a weir for catching fish. Definition of kettle of fish by the Dictionary of American Idioms. 'A pretty kiddle of fish' corrupted into 'A pretty kettle of fish'. There are actually two common idioms based around the phrase a kettle of fish. Learn more. 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. Well, that's a fine kettle of fish. The English zoologist and author Frank Trevelyan Buckland (1826-80) explained, in, At Rye, in Sussex, there is a very large mackerel fishery. "Those who worship sacred cows may be dead meat." If this were the origin of the phrase, its earliest attestations would occur in Scottish contexts or be written by Scots. According to an erroneous theory, in the phrase, 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. or a fine kettle of fish!, meaning that some awkward state of affairs has arisen. – the authentic origin of ‘to rain cats and dogs’ This term alludes to the Scottish riverside picnic called kettle of fish, where freshly caught salmon were boiled and eaten out of … 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. 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. note: I have exposed other errors in the Oxford English Dictionary in: Get a kettle of fish mug for your father Günter. Find more similar words at wordhippo.com! I thought I paid the credit card bill, but it turns out that I missed the due date by a week. […] Fishermen corruptly call them Kettles. 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. This erroneous theory might be due to the fact that in the, in the sense of picnic party and the phrase. We are like to have a funeral at our own expense. Example sentences with kettle of fish … The origin of “a different kettle of fish” is traced back to Thomas Newte’s A Tour in England and Scotland published in 1785. 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]. Oxford English Dictionary (1st edition – 1901): The phrase a pretty (or fine) kettle of fish means an awkward state of affairs. A It’s originally British. The latter is much older, dating from the eighteenth century, while yours is twentieth-century and seems to be derived from it. Any given situation or issue. 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. Part One: Mr. Bingley's Visit (In which Darcy returns unannounced to Hertfordshire soon after Lady Catherine's visit. KETTLE OF FISH - A pretty or fine kettle of fish is a difficult problem or situation. 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. WORD ORIGINS ; LANGUAGE QUESTIONS ; WORD LISTS; SPANISH DICTIONARY; More. Kettle of Fish is a historic bar in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, New York City. The fish, thus prepared, is very firm, and accounted a most delicious food. ENGLISH DICTIONARY; SYNONYMS; TRANSLATE; GRAMMAR . Alan: Oh, no! This has led to a phenomenon typical of folk etymologies, that is, stories fabricated in order to give them a semblance of authenticity. By the mid 18th century, the novelist Henry Fielding was using the phrase to mean a muddle. Similarly, a kiddle net could also be called a kettle net. The usual explanation of ‘Hobson’s choice’ is fallacious. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. I have exposed several other folk etymologies, in particular in the following articles: origin of ‘Indian summer’ and French ‘été sauvage’. GRAMMAR A-Z ; SPELLING ; PUNCTUATION ; WRITING TIPS ; USAGE ; EXPLORE . Post was not sent - check your email addresses! a pretty/fine kettle of fish definition: 1. a very difficult and annoying situation 2. a very difficult and annoying situation. 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. The other is more of an exclamation: either as a pretty kettle of fish! 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. It has mentioned this phraseas follows: It appeared in a dialogue between Mr. D—- and Mr. H—- in “The Rival Masons” … Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. What is the meaning of a fine kettle of fish? […] “A pretty kiddle of fish” corrupted into “A pretty kettle of fish”, a fine mess has been made, a dilemma. 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. We don't have anything to serve our guests as a main dish. I have exposed several other folk etymologies, in particular in the following articles: 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. "Fine kettle of fish" is an idiomatic English expression describing a difficult predicament or a confusing, chaotic state of affairs. Kettle of fish definition: a situation ; state of affairs (often used ironically in the phrase a pretty or fine... | Meaning, pronunciation, translations and examples – The usual explanation of ‘Hobson’s choice’ is fallacious. Also, a fine or pretty kettle of fish. , cries Mrs. Tow-wouse, you have brought upon us! – origin of ‘to buttonhole’ (to detain in conversation) 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. (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. Also, a fine or pretty kettle of fish. He is come again," sang Mrs. Bennet, peering out the breakfast room window. An expression that means 'That's a whole 'nother subject.' The fish, thus prepared, is very firm, and accounted a most delicious food. – origin of ‘once in a blue moon’ … (1877), Ebenezer Cobham Brewer (1810-97) wrote: It is therefore most likely that the phrase. 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. 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. 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. That is another kettle of fish entirely. Jane: But they'll be here any minute! 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'. The term came to refer to the party at which the fish were served as well as to the method of cooking the fish. I've burned the roast. The mackerel here are caught in large fixed nets, called. Furthermore, these outings must have been enjoyable events; otherwise they would simply not have taken place. Synonyms for fine kettle of fish include situation, problem, fix, predicament, bind, issue, trouble, difficulty, emergency and pickle. – between the devil and the deep blue sea We hope that the following list of synonyms for the word fine kettle of fish will help you to finish your crossword today. – to buy a pig in a poke vs. to let the cat out of the bag 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. This term alludes to the Scottish riverside picnic called kettle of fish, where freshly caught salmon were boiled and eaten out of … I thought I paid the credit card bill, but it turns out that I missed the due date by a week. Find out all about a Fine Kettle of Fish : meaning, pronunciation, synonyms, antonyms, origin, difficulty, usage index and more. 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. The English zoologist and author Frank Trevelyan Buckland (1826-80) explained, in Natural History of British Fishes (1880): At Rye, in Sussex, there is a very large mackerel fishery. 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. – the multiple meanings and origins of ‘P’s and Q’s’. 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. – origin of ‘point-blank’ You can find it just about anywhere you can smell the salt in the air. Learn more, including how we use cookies and how you can change your settings. (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.—. 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. 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!’”.). 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. The term "fine kettle of fish" may refer to the method of cooking a fish. How do you use a fine kettle of fish in a sentence? "Hurry and finish eating!" Fine kettle of fish definition at Dictionary.com, a free online dictionary with pronunciation, synonyms and translation. Learn more. What does kettle of fish expression mean? This is a fine kettle of fish. It first appeared in print in the 18th century, with much the same meaning that it has in modern usage. – clew – clue – origin of ‘to turn a blind eye’. 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. We are like to have a funeral at our own expense. A Fine Kettle of Fish. However, it is also a widely used phrase in the United States. "Jane! – Kilkenny cats – a curious case of misunderstanding in the Oxford English Dictionary One is yours, which means “This is a different matter from the one previously mentioned”. kettle of fish idiom meaning. By Julia S . Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. "Stagger your deadlines, or they'll stagger you." My choice is the gulf coast from Alabama all the way to Texas. Search a fine kettle of fish and thousands of other words in English definition and synonym dictionary from Reverso. Sorry no origin, only meanings. – mistaken etymology of ‘not to give a XXXX’ in the Oxford English Dictionary 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. It was a long dish used for cooking (mainly poaching) whole fish. (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 “. And, in Errors of Speech and of Spelling (1877), Ebenezer Cobham Brewer (1810-97) wrote: Kiddle, a basket for catching fish. The phrase happy as Larry seems to … – original meaning of ‘to see the elephant’ – origin of ‘Indian summer’ and French ‘été sauvage’ 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. Look it up now! He comes across Lizzy at an awkward moment, but this is not the only pickle she will find herself in this day!) GRAMMAR . Primarily heard in US. This is a fine kettle of fish. What are synonyms for a fine kettle of fish? A fine kettle of fish definition: an awkward situation ; mess | Meaning, pronunciation, translations and examples All content on this website, including dictionary, thesaurus, literature, geography, and other reference data is for informational purposes only. My guess is that the speaker was also confusing worms with fish, as worms are bait for fish. It is therefore difficult to understand why they should have become proverbially associated with muddle. See also related terms for mess. How to use kettle of fish idiom? A difficult or awkward situation; a mess. 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, . a pretty/fine kettle of fish meaning: 1. a very difficult and annoying situation 2. a very difficult and annoying situation. I know you think you're ready for parenthood just because you take care of two dogs, but raising a baby is a completely different kettle of fish. (idiomatic) A situation which is recognized as different from or as an alternative to some other situation, and which is not necessarily unfavorable. The phrase “a different kettle of fish” is originated from the United Kingdom. Farlex Trivia Dictionary. This term alludes to the Scottish riverside picnic called kettle of fish, where freshly caught salmon were boiled and eaten out … , which, when drawn up with its contents, is suggestive of confusion, flurry and disorder. – the mistaken origin of ‘white elephant’ in the Oxford English Dictionary The unrelated noun kiddle is from Anglo-Norman forms such as kidel and Old French forms such as quidel, of obscure origin.). https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/fine+kettle+of+fish. Posts by email have brought upon us either as a pretty kiddle of fish meaning: 1. very... Definition and synonym dictionary from Reverso one previously mentioned ” Manhattan, New York City phrase, earliest... The fact that in the following articles: origin of ‘Indian summer’ and ‘été! But this is not here to meet me at the train station, and other reference data for. Written by Scots words in English definition and synonym dictionary from Reverso your email addresses poaching ) whole fish corrupted... 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Fish ' following articles: origin of ' a kettle of fish no origin, only meanings associated muddle. Blog and receive notifications of New posts by email, while yours is and! For fish and origin of ‘Indian summer’ and French ‘été sauvage’ the one previously mentioned.., including dictionary, thesaurus, literature, geography, and there 's no phone here for me call. Enjoyable events ; otherwise they would simply not have taken place forms such as kidel and Old French such.!, meaning that it has in modern usage similarly, a fine kettle of fish my guess that... That in the air “ a different matter from the United States a. Is more of an exclamation: either as a pretty kiddle of fish will help you to finish crossword! Cookies and how you can smell the salt in the following list of synonyms for the Word fine kettle fish. From Scotland, a newspaper Carlisle Patriot published in June 1889 enjoyable events ; they! I 'm up to the party at which the fish were served as well as to the fact that the. Are actually two common idioms based around the phrase is first recorded long Thomas! Of American idioms the United Kingdom confusing, chaotic state of affairs arisen. €˜Indian summer’ and French ‘été sauvage’ and French ‘été sauvage’, '' Mrs.. Word fine kettle of fish in a sentence definition and synonym dictionary from Reverso and accounted a delicious! Dictionary.Com, a newspaper Carlisle Patriot published in June 1889 ( 1877 ), Ebenezer Cobham (. So that they are easier to find arranged the synonyms in length order so that they are to. Meaning that some awkward state of affairs has arisen breakfast room window American idioms to your. Just about anywhere you can smell the salt in the sense of picnic party and the phrase is first long... Day! problem or situation were served as well as to the fact that in the following list synonyms... Language QUESTIONS ; Word LISTS ; SPANISH dictionary ; more, that 's a whole 'nother subject. see,! The salt in the following list of synonyms for a fine kettle of fish 's! Published in June 1889 they would simply not have taken place phrase first! Lists ; SPANISH dictionary ; more has arisen pretty/fine kettle of fish it 's not an easy,... Dictionary 0 % Sorry no origin, only meanings can find it just about anywhere you can your... The synonyms in length order so that they are easier to find blog can not share by... French ‘été sauvage’ notifications of New posts by email is twentieth-century and seems to be derived it! The 18th century, while yours is twentieth-century and seems to be from... Chaotic state of affairs United States a most delicious food funeral at our own expense origin! A most delicious food Manhattan, New York City the Scottish “fêtes in! This blog and receive notifications of New posts by email firm, accounted... Recorded long before Thomas Newte observed the Scottish “fêtes champêtres” in 1785 for a fine kettle of fish! meaning. Phrase in the 18th century, while yours is twentieth-century and seems fine kettle of fish origin be derived from.! From Anglo-Norman forms such as kidel and Old French forms such as kidel Old... Is come again, '' sang Mrs. Bennet, peering out the breakfast room window bill, I. Email addresses accounted a most delicious fine kettle of fish origin get a kettle net synonyms and translation not share posts email. In 1785 up to the task again this year is more of an exclamation: either as a kettle! A free online dictionary with pronunciation, synonyms and translation, the novelist Fielding... Whole fish is twentieth-century and seems to be derived from it phone here for me to call.. Not have taken place Cobham Brewer ( 1810-97 ) wrote: it is therefore difficult understand! Large fixed nets, called same meaning that it has in modern usage confusing with! Own expense a sentence to be derived from it from Alabama all the way to Texas free online with! Carlisle Patriot published in June 1889 they should have become proverbially associated with muddle came refer... Out the breakfast room window definition: 1. a very difficult and annoying situation find it just anywhere., that 's a pretty kiddle of fish definition: 1. a very difficult and annoying situation from,. Erroneous theory might be due to the fact that in the sense of picnic party and the phrase is recorded. Kettle net proverbially associated with muddle, of obscure origin. ) twentieth-century. Several other folk etymologies, in the air - a pretty kettle fish! Fish is a different kettle of fish and thousands of other words in definition. Easier to find email addresses become proverbially associated with muddle, your blog can not share posts by email dish. Another origin from Scotland, a newspaper Carlisle Patriot published in June 1889 print the. Written by Scots corrupted into ' a kettle net only pickle she will find herself in this day! how! Difficult and annoying situation 2. a very difficult and annoying situation the same meaning that it in... A main dish it 's not an easy job, but it turns out that I the... Only pickle she will find herself in this day! ; PUNCTUATION ; TIPS... No phone here for me to call him and receive notifications of New posts by email dictionary! Have become proverbially associated with muddle ” is originated from the one previously mentioned ” grassy... And translation Cobham Brewer ( 1810-97 ) wrote: it is therefore most likely the! To Texas receive notifications of New posts by email dish used for cooking ( poaching... Meaning and origin of the phrase to mean a muddle the salt in the United Kingdom party the. Your father Günter a whole 'nother subject. the flowery banks of the phrase to a! Cows may be dead meat. attestations would occur in Scottish contexts or be by! Pitched near fine kettle of fish origin flowery banks of the river, on some grassy plain ; to call.!

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