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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!
See also: different, fish, kettle, of

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?
See also: beat, different, drum, march

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.
See also: ball, different, 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.
See also: color, different, horse, of

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.
See also: another, color, horse, of

dance to another tune

 and 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.
See also: another, dance, 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.
See also: and, different, night

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.
See also: different, folk, stroke

(a) horse of another color

 and 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.
See also: another, color, horse, of

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.
See also: different, drummer, march

sing a different tune

 and 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!
See also: different, sing, tune

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
See also: ball, different, of, wax

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.
See also: different, drummer, march

know different

also 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.
See also: different, know

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!
See also: different, stroke

a whole new ball game

  also 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.
See also: ball, game, new, whole

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
See also: and, chalk, cheese

(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
See also: different, folk, stroke

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
See also: different, drummer, march

be two sides of the same coin

  also 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
See also: coin, of, same, side, two

change tack

  also 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?
See also: change, tack

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.
See also: change, 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.
See also: another, dance, 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.
See also: and, different, night

different strokes for different folks

See also: different, folk, stroke

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.
See also: different, horse, of

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]
See also: fish, kettle, of

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.
See also: beat, different, march

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.
See also: different, sing, 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]
See also: another, hat, wear

different strokes for different folks

phr. different things please different people. Do whatever you like. Different strokes for different folks.
See also: different, folk, stroke

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.
See also: ball, game, new, whole
References in classic literature ?
They knew not each other's opinion, either its constancy or its change, on the one leading point of Anne's conduct, for the subject was never alluded to; but Anne, at seven-and-twenty, thought very differently from what she had been made to think at nineteen.
So the Barbizon people taught our fathers to look at trees in a certain manner, and when Monet came along and painted differently, people said: But trees aren't like that.
But then it should be said in justice to the stranger that the PERSONNEL was himself of a too convivial disposition fairly to judge one differently gifted, and had, moreover, experienced a slight rebuff in an effort at an "interview.
But is not the moon habitable for creatures differently organized from ourselves?
Thou forcest many to think differently about thee; that, charge they heavily to thine account.
We may say generally that an instrument is accurate in proportion as it reacts differently to very slightly different stimuli.
A musician will respond differently to very minute differences in playing which would be quite imperceptible to the ordinary mortal.
I have come to look very differently and more charitably on what is called infamous since brother Nikolay has become what he is.
The entire number of the Indians, within the Union, is differently computed, at between one and three hundred thousand souls.
Then, if your lot had been differently cast,' rejoined Rose; 'if you had been even a little, but not so far, above me; if I could have been a help and comfort to you in any humble scene of peace and retirement, and not a blot and drawback in ambitious and distinguished crowds; I should have been spared this trial.
You don't know how differently things affect me from what they do you.
I know how differently you must feel about all that affects our family, and your own dignity as a young woman, before you could think of receiving secret addresses from Philip Wakem.
There is further the misconception that differently abled people are not sexually active and they are thus totally ignored when it comes to safer sex or sexual rights campaigns.
Celebrate Differently rates start from 89 EUR per night per room.
To be in with the chance of winning this great prize, all you have to do is collect two out of the three differently numbered tokens we're printing inside the Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror from today until Monday, October 19, 2015.