kettle of fish

(redirected from a different)

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

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

kettle of fish, a fine/pretty

A messy predicament. This term is believed to come from a Scottish custom of holding a riverside picnic, itself called a “kettle of fish,” where freshly caught live salmon are thrown into a kettle boiling over an open fire and then are eaten out of hand, definitely a messy procedure. Sir Walter Scott described just such a picnic in St. Ronan’s Well (1824), but the transfer to other kinds of messy predicament had already occurred in the early eighteenth century. The term appears in Henry Fielding’s Joseph Andrews (1742) and works by Dickens, Hardy, Shaw, and many others, but it may now be dying out, at least in America.
See also: fine, kettle, of, pretty
References in classic literature ?
In order to eliminate the reference to our perceptions, which introduces an irrelevant psychological suggestion, I will take a different illustration, namely, stellar photography.
Just as a photographic plate receives a different impression of a cluster of stars when a telescope is part of the intervening medium, so a brain receives a different impression when an eye and an optic nerve are part of the intervening medium.
A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect, and promises the cure for which we are seeking.
Finally, under the old law, it was difficult to calculate the kiddie tax when the parent(s) had a different tax year than the child.
Meeting Rhiannon in a cafe, A finds himself rejecting the body once more, arguing that "if I were in a different body, this would be the time I would lean down and kiss her.
A, the main character, wakes up each morning in a different body without knowing why or how--that is just how it has always been.
Can you think of any other ways to twist this block for a different quilt design?
Royal Troon, the venue for next year's Open, bullishly argue that they are a different case.
He wakes up every morning in a different person's body and he has no idea why.
''If you put any of those four guys on a different team ...
But it's especially hard for A, who wakes up in a different body every day.
We finished the first half strong, and now we're a different team and trying to figure everybody out and how to best win with this team.
As a high school coach trying to fit an offensive philosophy into a different level of talent, I was struck by the thought that there were elements in both philosophies we might employ in the high school game.
The IRS said it would continue to study the disappearing-basis issue and would particularly welcome comments on whether a different approach is warranted for corporations filing consolidated returns.