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be a different kettle of fish
To be entirely different in scope or description from someone or something that was just being discussed. Steve: "So you like your first two roommates, but what about your third one?" Joe: "William? Oh, he's a different kettle of fish altogether." I suppose we could start looking at buying a house now that our baby is on the way, but that's an entirely different kettle of fish!
march to (the beat of) a different drum
To do something, act, or behave in a manner that does not conform to the standard, prevalent, or popular societal norm. My brother's eschewed the idea of a full-time career and has had every oddball job you could think of, but then he's always been happy marching to the beat of a different drum. Look, I respect the fact that you like to march to a different drum, but do you have to make a point of doing everything in a counter-cultural way?
different ball of wax
Something completely dissimilar. It's one thing to babysit your friends' kids from time to time, but having your own children is a completely different ball of wax.
horse of a different color
Something completely different or separate, especially in comparison to something else. I've always found math to be easy, but calculus is a horse of a different color.
horse of another color
Something completely different or separate, especially in comparison to something else. I've always found math to be easy, but calculus is a horse of a another color.
dance to another tuneand dance to a different tune
Fig. to shift quickly to different behavior; to change one's behavior or attitude. After being yelled at, Ann danced to another tune. A stern talking-to will make her dance to a different tune.
*different as night and day
Cliché completely different. (*Also: as ~.) Although Bobby and Billy are twins, they are as different as night and day. Birds and bats appear to be similar, but they are different as night and day.
Different strokes for different folks.
Prov. Different people like different things.; Different people live in different ways. My neighbor spends all his free time working in his garden. I would never want to do that, but different strokes for different folks.
(a) horse of another colorand a horse of a different color
Fig. another matter altogether. I was talking about trees, not bushes. Bushes are a horse of another color. Gambling is not the same as investing in the stock market. It's a horse of a different color.
march to (the beat of) a different drummer
Fig. to believe in a different set of principles. John is marching to a different drummer, and he doesn't associate with us anymore. Since Sally started marching to the beat of a different drummer, she has had a lot of great new ideas.
sing a different tuneand sing another tune
Fig. to change one's manner, usually from bad to good. (Almost the same as dance to another tune.) When she learned that I was a bank director, she began to sing a different tune. You will sing another tune as soon as you find out how right I am!
a different ball of wax
something not at all similar Sports are very popular but the Olympics are a different ball of wax.Related vocabulary: a (whole) new ballgame
march to a different drummer
to be different from other people As long as the schools that are marching to a different drummer just serve poor kids, no one really cares how they try to teach their students.
know differentalso know otherwise
to realize that certain information or an opinion is not correct Some people might say the job is easy, but I know different.
different strokes (for different folks)
different things are done or liked by different people The man walks backward for exercise. Different strokes for different folks!
a whole new ball gamealso a totally different ball game
a completely different situation, often one which is difficult or which you know very little about We'd done a lot of climbing in Scotland, but the Himalayas were a whole new ball game.
be (like) chalk and cheese(British & Australian) also be as different as chalk and cheese (British & Australian)
if two people are like chalk and cheese, they are completely different from each other I don't have anything in common with my brother. We're like chalk and cheese.See put down to experience
(It's) different strokes for different folks.(mainly American)
something that you say which means that different people like or need different things I've never enjoyed winter sports, but different strokes for different folks.See a whole new ball game, be chalk and cheese, march to a different drummer, be another different kettle of fish
a horse of another/a different color(American)
a situation or a subject that is different from what you had first thought it was You said you didn't like going to the movies, but if you don't want to go because you're broke, that's a horse of another color.
be another/a different kettle of fish
if you say that something or someone is a different kettle of fish, you mean that they are completely different from something or someone else that has been talked about Andy was never very interested in school, but Anna, now she was a completely different kettle of fish. I'd driven an automatic for years but learning to handle a car with gears was another kettle of fish altogether.
march to a different drummer(mainly American) also march to a different tune (British)
to behave in a different way or to believe in different things from the people around you While most of the country supported military action, Santini was marching to a different drummer.See steal a march on
be two sides of the same coinalso be different/opposite sides of the same coin
if two things are two sides of the same coin, they are very closely related although they seem different Violent behaviour and deep insecurity are often two sides of the same coin. Higher living standards and an increase in the general level of dissatisfaction are opposite sides of the same coin.See split sides
change tackalso try a different tack
to start using a different method for dealing with a situation, especially in the way that you communicate I've been very pleasant with them so far but if they don't cooperate, I may have to change tack. Instead of always asking him what he wants, why don't you try a different tack and tell him what you want?
change one's tune
Also, sing another or a different tune . Reverse one's views or behavior, switch sides, as in When she realized she was talking to the bank president, she quickly changed her tune, or I bet Dan will sing a different tune when he finds out what the salary is. A version of this term, sing another song, dates from about 1300, and it has been theorized that it alludes to itinerant minstrels who changed the words of their songs to please their current audience. The first locution was already in use by 1600. Also see dance to another tune.
dance to another tune
Change one's manner, behavior, or attitude. For example, He'll be dancing to another tune when he finds out that the board means business. Also see change one's tune.
different as night and day
Also, different as day and night. Totally unlike. For example, Although they are sisters, they are as different as night and day. Also see night and day.
different strokes for different folks
see under no accounting for tastes.
horse of a different color, a
Also, a horse of another color. Another matter entirely, something else. For example, I thought that was her boyfriend but it turned out to be her brother-that's a horse of a different color . This term probably derives from a phrase coined by Shakespeare, who wrote "a horse of that color" ( Twelfth Night, 2:3), meaning "the same matter" rather than a different one. By the mid-1800s the term was used to point out difference rather than likeness.
kettle of fish
1. Also, a fine or pretty 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 . This term alludes to the Scottish riverside picnic called kettle of fish, where freshly caught salmon were boiled and eaten out of hand. [Early 1700s]
2. a different or another kettle of fish . A very different matter or issue, not necessarily a bad one. For example, They're paying for the meal? That's a different kettle of fish. [First half of 1900s]
march to a different beat
Also, march to a different drummer. Act independently, differ in conduct or ideas from most others, as in Joe wanted to be married on a mountain top-he always marches to a different beat, or Sarah has her own ideas for the campaign; she marches to a different drummer. This idiom, alluding to being out of step in a parade, is a version of Henry David Thoreau's statement in Walden (1854): "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer." It came into wide use in the mid-1900s.
no accounting for tastes, there's
Individual likes and dislikes defy explanation, as in They painted their house purple-there's really no accounting for tastes. This expression, first put as no disputing about tastes, dates from the mid-1600s; the present wording was first recorded in 1794. A mid-20th-century synonym that originated in the American South is different strokes for different folks. For a far older synonym, see one man's meat.
See also: accounting
sing a different tune
Also, sing another tune. See change one's tune.
wear another hat
Also, wear a different hat or two hats ; wear more than one hat. Function in a different or more than one capacity or position, as in I'm wearing another hat today; yesterday I was a housewife, today I'm an attorney, or I wear two hats-are you asking me as a member of the city council or as a storeowner? This metaphoric expression alludes to headgear worn for different occupations. [Mid-1900s]
different strokes for different folks
phr. different things please different people. Do whatever you like. Different strokes for different folks.
a whole new ball game
n. a completely different situation; something completely different. Now that you’re here, it’s a whole new ball game.