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every eel hopes to become a whale

A phrase highlighting one's ambition. Just like every eel hopes to become a whale, I dream of becoming the CEO one day.
See also: become, eel, every, hope, whale

hold an eel by the tail

To try to engage or somehow detain an elusive person or thing. Trying to get in touch with my insurance company is like trying to holding an eel by the tail—I can never get through to a live person! Every time we try to pin charges on the mob boss, it's as hard as holding an eel by the tail because he somehow weasels his way out of them!
See also: by, eel, hold, tail

skin an eel by the tail

To do something in an ill-advised way. Why are you skinning an eel by the tail? You know you can't back out of the driveway until you clear all that snow out of the way!
See also: by, eel, skin, tail

be as slippery as an eel

To be devious, scheming, and untrustworthy—and difficult to apprehend. Of course that guy took everyone's money and left town—he's as slippery as an eel!
See also: eel, slippery

(as) slippery as an eel

Devious, scheming, and untrustworthy—and difficult or impossible to apprehend or pin down. The notorious criminal has proven to be as slippery as an eel for police, eluding capture once again. Companies like this are slippery as eels, coming up with all sorts of elaborate means of getting around regulations.
See also: eel, slippery

*slippery as an eel

devious and untrustworthy, but impossible to catch. (*Also: as ~.) Don't sign a lease with that landlord; I think he's as slippery as an eel. The con artist was slippery as an eel. Although he defrauded many people, he never went to prison.
See also: eel, slippery

slippery as an eel

Elusive, devious, as in When it comes to talking about his investments, Jim's slippery as an eel. This simile, first recorded about 1412, alludes to the eel's skin, which has tiny scales and is quite slippery when wet.
See also: eel, slippery

slippery as an eel

1. If someone is as slippery as an eel, they are difficult to catch or take hold of. When his opponent is on the attack, he is as slippery as an eel.
2. If someone is as slippery as an eel, they are clever and able to think quickly, but you cannot trust them. He was as clever as a fox and as slippery as an eel. Note: You can also describe someone as a slippery eel. He himself admits that he is regarded as a slippery eel — a man who constantly changes his mind.
See also: eel, slippery

(as) slippery as an ˈeel

(informal) dishonest and good at not answering questions, etc: The man the police want to talk to is slippery as an eel, and has so far escaped arrest. OPPOSITE: (as) straight as a die (2)
See also: eel, slippery

slippery as an eel

Hard to grasp; elusive, and, by extension, deceitful. The eel’s long slender body, with only minute scales deeply embedded in the skin, looks totally smooth and is very slippery when wet. These characteristics gave rise to the simile, which dates from the fourteenth century and is still used today. (See the quotation in slip through one's fingers.)
See also: eel, slippery
References in periodicals archive ?
Discrepancies between larval and juvenile otoliths of the American eel (Anguilla rostrata): is there something fishy going on at metamorphosis?
As well as the pop-up satellites, internal storage tags were fitted to the eels to map each fish's journey.
Once eels have left the rivers to return to the sea to spawn, they stop feeding, and so have to rely on stored energy alone.
The story was about fishermen harvesting juvenile eels in coastal waters of the Gulf of Maine and selling them for more than $2,500 a pound, mostly for unagi in Asian fish markets.
This is the preferred method for hooking up an eel, a.
Eels are using electricity like a venom, Catania says.
Spokeswoman Louise McWatt said: "There are eels living in waters in the area around Surf Snowdonia so we know they are in the vicinity.
Phil Rippon, fisheries technical specialist for the Environment Agency, said: "We are delighted that the staff team at px were diligent enough to catch and preserve these eels and fish, so that they could be returned to their natural environment.
European eels are selling in Europe at an average price of EUR 500 per kilogramme, while the price in Asian countries can reach up to EUR 1,300 per kilo, the statement read.
Having delicious eels at the Mandarin Westboro's sushi bar last week brought back many good memories.
We employed the compliment of gears to increase the probability of American eel detection (Gutreuter et al.
The Severn Rivers Trust and the Sustainable Eel Group released the eels into the River Teme in Ludlow as part of a national campaign to increase eel populations in UK rivers and lakes.
New legislation is crucial in order to save the European eel stock which, according to scientific reports, has decreased by more than 95% over the last 30 years, said the European Parliament in a resolution, adopted on 11 September.
The European Parliament's Committee on Fisheries (PECH) has asked the European Commission to present a new proposal for the multiannual eel management plan.
TRADITIONAL eel fishing in Wales could be put at risk by proposals being considered by the European Parliament, according to Welsh Conservative MEP Kay Swinburne.