a fish out of water

fish out of water

One who does not feel comfortable in a new environment. When Carla transferred to a new school, she felt like a fish out of water because she didn't know anyone there. Marie was like a fish out of water when she assumed a manger position at the company where she had worked as a clerk for so long.
See also: fish, of, out, water

a fish out of water

If you are like a fish out of water, you feel awkward because you are in an unfamiliar situation or because the people you are with are very different from you. I think he thought of himself as a country gentleman and was like a fish out of water in Birmingham. It's not as if I had any obvious trauma in my life; I just felt like a fish out of water. Note: You can use fish-out-of-water before a noun, to describe a situation where someone feels awkward. The fish-out-of-water feeling continued when she went to study in Cambridge.
See also: fish, of, out, water