fishy

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fishy

Highly dubious or suspicious; seeming to not be aboveboard. I don't know if you should sign that contract, it seems a bit fishy to me. Don't you think it's a little fishy how eager he is to be in charge of the accounts?

fishy about the gills

Hung-over. A: "How are you feeling after your night of partying?" B: "Ugh, fishy about the gills—I've been throwing up all morning!"
See also: fishy, gill

smell fishy

To seem suspicious of being improper, untoward, or duplicitous. A: "Their numbers don't match up with the taxes they've paid." B: "Hmm, something smells fishy." He thought Janet's response seemed a bit fishy, so he did a bit of investigation into her role in the company.
See also: fishy, smell

smell fishy

to seem suspicious. Barlowe squinted a bit. Something smells fishy here, he thought. something about the deal smelled fishytoo good to be true.
See also: fishy, smell

smell fishy

Be suspect or suspicious, as in His explanation definitely smells fishy; my guess is that he's lying. This idiom alludes to the fact that fresh fish have no odor but stale or rotten ones do. [Early 1800s]
See also: fishy, smell

fishy

mod. dubious; questionable; likely to be improper or illegal. (see also smell fishy.) That was a pretty fishy story you told us.

smell fishy

in. to seem suspicious. (see also fishy.) Marlowe squinted a bit. Something smells fishy here, he thought.
See also: fishy, smell

smell fishy, to

To be suspect. This term, which refers to the fact that fresh fish do not smell but stale or rotten ones do, has been around since the early nineteenth century. J. G. Holland explained it explicitly (Everyday Topics, 1876): “Fish is good, but fishy is always bad.” The metaphor turns up in James Payn’s Confidential Agent (1880): “His French is very fishy.”
See also: smell
References in periodicals archive ?
The writer also provides descriptive details: the spoonful was tiny; the hallway was narrow and wooden; the Bacalao had a rank fishiness. The idea in a story is developed through details about what happened and what was said, and often about what things looked and tasted like.
I never forgot the essential fishiness (in a good way) of the fish.
Blake Hurst, the Missouri farmer who is so proud of being humble, points out in The American Enterprise that "the work we [Red staters] do can be measured in bushels, pounds, shingles nailed, and bricks laid, rather than in the fussy judgments that make up office employee reviews." But there's something fishy about Hurst's claim to the mantle of workerist righteousness, something beyond the immediate fishiness of a magazine ordinarily given to assailing unions and saluting the Dow now printing such a fervent celebration of blue-collar life.
Like fish soup boiled down to its fishiest fishiness".
The cod we used seemed to lose a sense of "fishiness" but was strong--perhaps stronger in flavor.
"Eighty-six was very fatty," one man says, while another counters, "No, that was the salty year." In recalling herring vintages, the "fishiness" (a negative) is compared with a catch's "oceanic quality" (a positive).
Our lords and masters are another kettle of fishiness. They, it seems, DID need the impetus of Diana's death and the people's grief to move their butts.
But there is something fishy going on here none the less--a fishiness that lurks precisely in the canonical nature of the works listed.
It may also be that the smells thus picked out are not mutually exclusive; adding cilantro to the fish stew may produce an olfactory "chord", in which both fishiness and cilantro smell are discernible, rather than a third smell different from that of both the fish and the cilantro.
There was no sign of overpowering fishiness, which has put me off prawn toast before, and they were clearly straight from the fryer.
The fish pieces were firm with no hint of fishiness, owing to the restaurant's practice of buying whole fish instead of fillets.
The anchovies were salty and delicious, little slivers of sea-scented freshness with none of the dreaded 'fishiness', just clean flavour.
But it was perked up by a few discs of coral butter, which added a note of restrained fishiness.
This was typical of every dish that night, in that the cod fillet was gently spiced, not swamped with flavours, so the natural fishiness came through the crunchy coating.