kettle


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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

be a whole other 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 whole other kettle of fish." I suppose we could start looking at buying a house now that our baby is on the way, but that's a whole other kettle of fish!
See also: fish, kettle, of, other, whole

a storm in a teakettle

A disproportionate reaction of anger, concern, or displeasure over some minor or trivial matter. (A less common variant of "a tempest in a teacup/teapot.") If you ask me, these protests are nothing but a storm in a teakettle that's been stoked by a media campaign of misinformation. I really think you're making a storm in a teakettle over this. It's just a tiny scratch on the car!
See also: storm, teakettle

a tempest in a teakettle

A disproportionate reaction of anger, concern, or displeasure over some minor or trivial matter. (A less common variant of "a tempest in a teacup/teapot.") If you ask me, these protests are nothing but a tempest in a teakettle that's been stoked by a media campaign of misinformation. I really think you're making a tempest in a teakettle over this. It's just a tiny scratch on the car!
See also: teakettle, tempest

a watched kettle never boils

If you are waiting for something to happen, obsessively checking it does not make it happen faster. A variation on the more common phrase, "a watched pot never boils." Would you stop refreshing the page? The results will be posted soon enough, and a watched kettle never boils!
See also: boil, kettle, never, watch

fine kettle of fish

A difficult or awkward situation; a mess. Primarily heard in US. Well, that's a fine kettle of fish. I thought I paid the credit card bill, but it turns out that I missed the due date by a week.
See also: fine, fish, kettle, of

pretty kettle of fish

A difficult or awkward situation; a mess. Primarily heard in US. Well, that's a pretty kettle of fish. I thought I paid the credit card bill, but it turns out that I missed the due date by a week.
See also: fish, kettle, of, pretty

fine kettle of fish

Fig. a troublesome situation; a vexing problem. (Usually appears in the expression, This is a fine kettle of fish!) This is a fine kettle of fish. My husband is not here to meet me at the train station, and there's no phone here for me to call him. Alan: Oh, no! I've burned the roast. We don't have anything to serve our guests as a main dish. Jane: But they'll be here any minute! This is a fine kettle of fish.
See also: fine, fish, kettle, of

pot is calling the kettle black

 and that's the pot calling the kettle black
Prov. You should not criticize someone for a fault that you have too. (Not polite to say about the person you are addressing.) Bill told Barbara she was sloppy, but Bill never cleans up after himself, either. That's the pot calling the kettle black. My sister says I dress funny, but if you've seen some of the clothes she wears, you know it's a case of the pot calling the kettle black.
See also: black, calling, kettle, pot

the pot calling the kettle black

a situation in which one person criticizes another for a fault they have themselves Ernie accused me of being selfish. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!
See also: black, calling, kettle, pot

a fine/pretty kettle of fish

  (mainly American)
a difficult situation That's a fine kettle of fish - the car won't start and I have to leave in five minutes.
See also: fine, fish, kettle, of

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.

the pot calling the kettle black

something that you say which means someone should not criticize another person for a fault that they have themselves Elliot accused me of being selfish. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!
See Piss or get off the can!, throw into the pot, A watched pot never boils
See also: black, calling, kettle, pot

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

pot calling the kettle black, the

Accusing someone of faults that one has oneself, as in Tom's criticizing Dexter for dubious line calls is a case of the pot calling the kettle black, since Tom's about the worst line judge I've ever seen . This expression dates from the days of open-hearth cooking, which blackens practically all the utensils used. [Early 1600s]
See also: calling, kettle, pot

pretty kettle of fish

Irritating or embarrassing situation. The Scottish tradition of community fish-boil dinners often degenerated in brawls, to the extent that people began to refer to the events by this sarcastic phrase. Fish-boils may have evaporated, but the expression and the sarcasm haven't.
See also: fish, kettle, of, pretty
References in classic literature ?
After a moment passed in dipping the ladle full, and then raising it on high, as the thick rich fluid fell back into the kettle, he suddenly gave it a whirl, as if to cool what yet remained, and offered the bowl to Mr.
When the water in the kettle was boiling, the cook went into the bedroom to fetch Fundevogel and throw him into it.
We will go to sleep now," they said, "and when we wake up the kettle will be boiled"; and they lay down on the grass, and shut their eyes.
When George is hanged, Harris will be the worst packer in this world; and I looked at the piles of plates and cups, and kettles, and bottles and jars, and pies, and stoves, and cakes, and tomatoes, &c.
You'll find something in the kettle when it's taken off--and it won't be poor, innocent chickens, either.
Tip wriggled around upon his stool and stared awhile at the kettle, which was beginning to bubble.
Peerybingle, with restored good humour, dusted her chubby little hands against each other, and sat down before the kettle, laughing.
Never mind," said the shaggy man, consolingly; "I ought to make enough soup to feed them all, I'm so big; so I'll ask them to put me in the kettle first.
He was a poor and honest workman who mended his neighbors' kettles and pans, and did his best to keep his family in decent comfort.
Captain Jim moved about getting his kettle on to boil, and setting out his bread and butter.
I took a kettle large and new, Fit for the deed I had to do.
In the first place, the Grange is on clay, and built where the castle moat must have been; then there's that destestable little river, steaming all night like a kettle.
A cloth was laid on a round table, and on it stood a china tea service and a silver spirit-lamp and tea kettle.
This call, the bird obeyed with great alacrity; crying, as he sidled up to his master, 'I'm a devil, I'm a Polly, I'm a kettle, I'm a Protestant, No Popery
The matron looked, from the little kettle, to the beadle, who was moving towards the door; and as the beadle coughed, preparatory to bidding her good-night, bashfully inquired whether--whether he wouldn't take a cup of tea?