eel

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Related to eels: Electron energy loss spectroscopy, Electric eels

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: 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: 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

*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
References in periodicals archive ?
But I have never found a reputable source--and I'm not even sure I have found a disreputable source--that eels kill people.
Spokeswoman Louise McWatt said: "There are eels living in waters in the area around Surf Snowdonia so we know they are in the vicinity.
It wasn't just a lucky day for the eels in question but also for the environment, as European eel numbers have diminished by almost 95% in the last 20 years.
European eel (Anguila Anguila) is classified as a critically threatened species of fish protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
The Manawatu River is ridiculously polluted - you couldn't swim in it - and they wanted to know if there were actually eels in there, because it would give them the means to get funding and clean it up.
e Marine Conservation Society has placed UK eels on its red list, meaning they are critically endangered.
Both American and European eels are born in the Sargasso Sea, a unique and little-known part of the Atlantic lying just east of Bermuda.
Dr William O'Connor of the European Eel Consultancy in Limerick said: "This was a major and unnecessary kill of a critically-endangered species.
Electricity the eel uses to stun prey and scare off predators comes from organs that are lined up like batteries in a flashlight.
The lure ultimately covers a 3/8-ounce leadhead jig that is haywire wrapped to the leader wire and barbed through the bottom and out through the top of the mouth of the silver eel, allowing the silver eel to swim straight.
Eel numbers have declined for many reasons in the last decade, including because they have struggled to bypass man-made barriers to reach important upstream habitats.
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.
4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Living Planet Aquarium is shocking visitors with its Christmas display which uses an Electric eel to flash the lights on its tree.
In an effort to determine whether the eels being shipped to the United States were infected, investigators tested 47 specimens gathered from markets in New York City, Atlanta, and Orlando.
AS A YOUNG BOY LIVING NEAR PORT JERVIS, NEW YORK, Joseph Dembeck often fished for eels at dusk, by the light of a lantern.