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have other fish to fry
To have more important or more interesting things to do or attend to. I hope the boss keeps this meeting short—we all have other fish to fry.
bigger fish to fry
More important matters to deal with. I can't worry about that now, I've got bigger fish to fry! I want Chris to help me with this project, but he claims he has bigger fish to fry right now.
fish to fry
Matters to deal with. Often used in the phrases "bigger fish to fry" or "other fish to fry." I can't deal with this right now, I've got other fish to fry! Susie did bring me the latest report, but I've got bigger fish to fry at the moment.
fry the fat out of
To get money out of someone through violence and/or extortion. If you don't pay up, I'll have my men fry the fat out of you, don't you worry. It's time to fry the fat out of you, Stan, because I always get my money, one way or another.
fry something up
to cook something by frying. Let's fry some chicken up for dinner. We fried up some chicken.
Go chase yourself!and Go climb a tree!; Go fly a kite!; Go jump in the lake!
Inf. Go away and stop bothering me! Bob: Get out of here. Bill! You're driving mecrazy! Go chase yourself'. Bill: What did I do to you? Bob: You're just in the way. Bill: Dad, can I have ten bucks? Father: Go climb a tree! Fred: Stop pestering me, John. Go jump in the lake! John: What did I do? Bob: Well, Bill, don't you owe me some money? Bill: Go fly a kite!
See also: chase
Go fry an egg!
Go away and stop bothering me! Go away and stop bothering me. Go fry an egg! Get out of my way! Go fry an egg!
See also: fry
have bigger fish to fryand have other fish to fry; have more important fish to fry
Fig. to have other things to do; to have more important things to do. I can't take time for your problem. I have other fish to fry. I won't waste time on your question. I have bigger fish to fry.
language that would fry bacon
Rur. profanity; swearing; curse words. ("Hot" language.) He carried on in language that would fry bacon. I was shocked when I heard that sweet little girl use language that would fry bacon.
*out of the frying pan (and) into the fire
Fig. from a bad situation to a worse situation. (*Typically: get ~; go ~; jump ~.) When I tried to argue about my fine for a traffic violation, the judge charged me with contempt of court. I really went out of the frying pan into the fire. I got deeply in debt. Then I really got out of the frying pan into the fire when I lost my job.
1. Lit. newly hatched fish; small, juvenile fish. The catch was bad today. Nothing but small fry.
2. Fig. unimportant people. The police have only caught the small fry. The leader of the gang is still free. You people are just small fry! I want to talk to the boss.
3. Fig. children. Peter's taking the small fry to the zoo. We should take the small fry to the pantomime.
have bigger fish to fryalso have other fish to fry
to have something more important or more interesting to do I couldn't spend a lot of time on the problem – I had other fish to fry.
out of the frying pan (into the fire)
from a bad situation to an even worse one Many kids who run away from unhappy homes discover they've jumped out of the frying pan into the fire when they try to live on their own.
Usage notes: often used with jump, as in the example
have bigger/other fish to fry
to have something more important or more interesting to do I couldn't waste my time trying to reach an agreement with them, I had other fish to fry.
jump out of the frying pan (and) into the fire
to go from a bad situation to an even worse one Many kids who run away from unhappy homes discover they've jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire.
1. people, organizations, or activities that are not large or important The small fry are soon going to be pushed out of business by all these multinationals. This investigation is small fry for a police force used to massive inquiries.
2. (American humorous) very young children These computer games will really intrigue the small fry in your house - kids love them.
other fish to fry
Also, better or bigger fish to fry . More important matters to attend to, as in They asked me to help with the decorations, but I have other fish to fry. [Mid-1500s]
out of the frying pan into the fire
From a bad situation to one that is much worse. For example, After Karen quit the first law firm she went to one with even longer hours-out of the frying pan into the fire . This expression, a proverb in many languages, was first recorded in English in 1528.
1. Young children, as in This show is not suitable for small fry.
2. Persons of little importance or influence, as in She wasn't about to invite the Washington small fry to the reception. Both usages allude to fry in the sense of "young or small fish." [Late 1800s]
stew in one's own juice
Suffer the consequences of one's actions, as in He's run into debt again, but this time we're leaving him to stew in his own juice. This metaphoric term alludes to cooking something in its own liquid. Versions of it, such as fry in one's own grease, date from Chaucer's time, but the present term dates from the second half of the 1800s.
To prepare or make something by frying: I'll fry up some pancakes for breakfast. They fried some bacon up for the sandwiches.
1. in. to die in the electric chair. (Underworld.) The DA is determined that you will fry.
2. tv. to execute someone in the electric chair. (Underworld.) They’re gonna fry you for this.
Go chase yourself!and Go chase your tail! and Go climb a tree! and Go fly a kite! and Go fry an egg! and Go jump in the lake! and Go soak your head! and Go soak yourself!
exclam. Beat it!; Go away! Oh, go chase yourself! Go soak your head! You’re a pain in the neck.
See also: chase
Go fry an egg!verb
See also: fry
1. n. anything or anyone small or unimportant. (Fry are juvenile fish.) Don’t worry about the small fry. You have to please the fat-cats.
2. n. small children. The small fries have eaten and are getting ready for bed.
other fish to fryInformal
Other matters to attend to: He declined to come along to the movie, saying he had other fish to fry.
better fish to fry
More important things to do. This way of saying that you don't want to waste your time with something (or someone) goes back to 17th-century England. Its French equivalent is “other dogs to whip.” Variations are “other fish to fry” and “better fish to fry.”