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. Get a kettle of fish mug for your father Günter. – mistaken etymology of ‘not to give a XXXX’ in the Oxford English Dictionary 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. Part One: Mr. Bingley's Visit (In which Darcy returns unannounced to Hertfordshire soon after Lady Catherine's visit. "Those who worship sacred cows may be dead meat." 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. Jane: But they'll be here any minute! – the multiple meanings and origins of ‘P’s and Q’s’. How to use kettle of fish idiom? Synonyms for fine kettle of fish include situation, problem, fix, predicament, bind, issue, trouble, difficulty, emergency and pickle. – origin of ‘Indian summer’ and French ‘été sauvage’ 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. 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. 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. 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. – on errors in the Oxford English Dictionary 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 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'. (idiomatic) A situation which is recognized as different from or as an alternative to some other situation, and which is not necessarily unfavorable. WORD ORIGINS ; LANGUAGE QUESTIONS ; WORD LISTS; SPANISH DICTIONARY; More. 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 phrase “a different kettle of fish” is originated from the United Kingdom. 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. I thought I paid the credit card bill, but it turns out that I missed the due date by a week. My husband is not here to meet me at the train station, and there's no phone here for me to call him. (1877), Ebenezer Cobham Brewer (1810-97) wrote: It is therefore most likely that the phrase. Learn more. Well, that's a pretty kettle of fish. 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. It has mentioned this phraseas follows: It appeared in a dialogue between Mr. D—- and Mr. H—- in “The Rival Masons” … Also, a fine or pretty kettle of fish. That is another kettle of fish entirely. And, in Errors of Speech and of Spelling (1877), Ebenezer Cobham Brewer (1810-97) wrote: Kiddle, a basket for catching fish. 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, . He comes across Lizzy at an awkward moment, but this is not the only pickle she will find herself in this day!) 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]. – a curious case of misunderstanding in the Oxford English Dictionary By Julia S . 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." "Jane! All content on this website, including dictionary, thesaurus, literature, geography, and other reference data is for informational purposes only. a pretty/fine kettle of fish definition: 1. a very difficult and annoying situation 2. a very difficult and annoying situation. Fine kettle of fish definition at Dictionary.com, a free online dictionary with pronunciation, synonyms and translation. I have exposed several other folk etymologies, in particular in the following articles: 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. What does kettle of fish expression mean? note: I have exposed other errors in the Oxford English Dictionary in: "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. Find more similar words at wordhippo.com! Used with specific modifiers depending on the context, especially "fine" or "pretty" for something difficult or awkward, and "different" or "another" for something dissimilar. See also related terms for mess. 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. – origin of ‘once in a blue moon’ 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. 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. The mackerel here are caught in large fixed nets, called. The term "fine kettle of fish" may refer to the method of cooking a fish. You can find it just about anywhere you can smell the salt in the air. It is therefore difficult to understand why they should have become proverbially associated with muddle. – to buy a pig in a poke vs. to let the cat out of the bag The English zoologist and author Frank Trevelyan Buckland (1826-80) explained, in, At Rye, in Sussex, there is a very large mackerel fishery. – origin of ‘to buttonhole’ (to detain in conversation) […] Fishermen corruptly call them Kettles. 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”…. Well, that's a fine kettle of fish. What is the meaning of a fine kettle of fish? "Stagger your deadlines, or they'll stagger you." Also, a fine or pretty kettle of fish. The unrelated noun kiddle is from Anglo-Norman forms such as kidel and Old French forms such as quidel, of obscure origin.). – clew – clue Search a fine kettle of fish and thousands of other words in English definition and synonym dictionary from Reverso. This is a fine kettle of fish. However, it is also a widely used phrase in the United States. We don't have anything to serve our guests as a main dish. 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. Primarily heard in US. This is a fine kettle of fish. Sorry no origin, only meanings. 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. "Hurry and finish eating!" , cries Mrs. Tow-wouse, you have brought upon us! It first appeared in print in the 18th century, with much the same meaning that it has in modern usage. – Kilkenny cats We are like to have a funeral at our own expense. The fish, thus prepared, is very firm, and accounted a most delicious food. What are synonyms for a fine kettle of fish? 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. 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. I thought I paid the credit card bill, but it turns out that I missed the due date by a week. The other is more of an exclamation: either as a pretty kettle of fish! Example sentences with kettle of fish … By the mid 18th century, the novelist Henry Fielding was using the phrase to mean a muddle. – The usual explanation of ‘Hobson’s choice’ is fallacious. My guess is that the speaker was also confusing worms with fish, as worms are bait for fish. My choice is the gulf coast from Alabama all the way to Texas. (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.—. This term alludes to the Scottish riverside picnic called kettle of fish, where freshly caught salmon were boiled and eaten out of … GRAMMAR A-Z ; SPELLING ; PUNCTUATION ; WRITING TIPS ; USAGE ; EXPLORE . It's not an easy job, but I'm up to the task again this year. There is another origin from Scotland, a newspaper Carlisle Patriot published in June 1889. Find out all about a Fine Kettle of Fish : meaning, pronunciation, synonyms, antonyms, origin, difficulty, usage index and more. – meaning and origin of ‘the devil to pay’ 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." Kettle of Fish is a historic bar in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, New York City. We've arranged the synonyms in length order so that they are easier to find. ENGLISH DICTIONARY; SYNONYMS; TRANSLATE; GRAMMAR . KETTLE OF FISH - A pretty or fine kettle of fish is a difficult problem or situation. (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. A kiddle net could also be called a kettle of fish find herself in this day! predicament a! Part one: Mr. Bingley 's Visit n't have anything to serve our guests as a pretty or fine of....€ Tents or marquees are pitched near the flowery banks of the river on... All content on this website, including how we use cookies and how you can find just... My guess is that the speaker was also confusing worms with fish, prepared... Change your settings of confusion, flurry and disorder he comes across Lizzy an., or they 'll Stagger you. day! check your email address to this! 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