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have other fish to fry
To have more important or more interesting things to do or attend to. I hope the boss keeps this meeting short—we all have other fish to fry.
bigger fish to fry
More important matters to deal with. I can't worry about that now, I've got bigger fish to fry! I want Chris to help me with this project, but he claims he has bigger fish to fry right now.
fish to fry
Matters to deal with. Often used in the phrases "bigger fish to fry" or "other fish to fry." I can't deal with this right now, I've got other fish to fry! Susie did bring me the latest report, but I've got bigger fish to fry at the moment.
fry the fat out of
To get money out of someone through violence and/or extortion. If you don't pay up, I'll have my men fry the fat out of you, don't you worry. It's time to fry the fat out of you, Stan, because I always get my money, one way or another.
have bigger fish to fry
To have more important or more interesting things to do or attend to. It's really not worth my time. I've got bigger fish to fry! I want Chris to help me with this project, but he claims he has bigger fish to fry right now.
out of the frying pan (and) into the fire
From a bad, stressful, or dangerous situation into one that is even worse. Those poor refugees escaped the famine but ended up in a war zone—out of the frying pan into the fire. I thought my old job was stressful, but my new one is 10 times worse. It's like going out of the frying pan and into the fire.
1. A small, young child (or children). An allusion to newly hatched fish. Can be singular or plural, and can also be pluralized as "small fries." There's a bouncy castle out the back for the small fry, and we have video games set up in the living room for the older kids. You're still just a small fry. When you're bigger, you can come skateboarding, too.
2. By extension, trifling, unimportant, or inconsequential persons or things. I've been trying to raise my concerns about the project, but the company's upper management doesn't listen to small fry like me. The investigations have turned up small fries so far, but I think they're getting closer to the big money laundering scheme.
better fish to fry
More important matters to deal with. I can't worry about that now, I've got better fish to fry! I want Chris to help me with this project, but he claims he has better fish to fry right now.
To use direct heat to cook some food, often in fat or oil. A noun or pronoun can be used between "fry" and "up." Oh, I'm just frying up some bacon for breakfast.
other fish to fry
Other, more important matters to deal with. I can't worry about that now, I've got other fish to fry! I want Chris to help me with this project, but he claims he has other fish to fry right now.
A condiment made by combining ketchup and mayonnaise. As the name suggests, it is typically served with French fries. Hey, can you get me some fry sauce, please? I don't like to eat my fries with just ketchup.
A manner of speaking in which one uses their lowest natural register, causing the voice to be breathy or creaky. Why is it that people only seem to care about women's vocal fry? Men do it too!
See also: fry
language that could/would fry bacon
Extremely coarse, vulgar, offensive, or profane language. My grandmother was the sweetest lady alive, but when she got angry, she could use language that would fry bacon. I'm usually pretty even-tempered, but as soon as I get behind the wheel of a car I start spouting language that could fry bacon.
go fry an egg
slang Leave me alone; get lost. A: "Yikes, what did you do to your hair?" B: "Oh, go fry an egg!"
fry something up
to cook something by frying. Let's fry some chicken up for dinner. We fried up some chicken.
Go chase yourself!and Go climb a tree!; Go fly a kite!; Go jump in the lake!
Inf. Go away and stop bothering me! Bob: Get out of here. Bill! You're driving mecrazy! Go chase yourself'. Bill: What did I do to you? Bob: You're just in the way. Bill: Dad, can I have ten bucks? Father: Go climb a tree! Fred: Stop pestering me, John. Go jump in the lake! John: What did I do? Bob: Well, Bill, don't you owe me some money? Bill: Go fly a kite!
Go fry an egg!
Go away and stop bothering me! Go away and stop bothering me. Go fry an egg! Get out of my way! Go fry an egg!
have bigger fish to fryand have other fish to fry; have more important fish to fry
Fig. to have other things to do; to have more important things to do. I can't take time for your problem. I have other fish to fry. I won't waste time on your question. I have bigger fish to fry.
language that would fry bacon
Rur. profanity; swearing; curse words. ("Hot" language.) He carried on in language that would fry bacon. I was shocked when I heard that sweet little girl use language that would fry bacon.
*out of the frying pan (and) into the fire
Fig. from a bad situation to a worse situation. (*Typically: get ~; go ~; jump ~.) When I tried to argue about my fine for a traffic violation, the judge charged me with contempt of court. I really went out of the frying pan into the fire. I got deeply in debt. Then I really got out of the frying pan into the fire when I lost my job.
1. Lit. newly hatched fish; small, juvenile fish. The catch was bad today. Nothing but small fry.
2. Fig. unimportant people. The police have only caught the small fry. The leader of the gang is still free. You people are just small fry! I want to talk to the boss.
3. Fig. children. Peter's taking the small fry to the zoo. We should take the small fry to the pantomime.
other fish to fry
Also, better or bigger fish to fry . More important matters to attend to, as in They asked me to help with the decorations, but I have other fish to fry. [Mid-1500s]
out of the frying pan into the fire
From a bad situation to one that is much worse. For example, After Karen quit the first law firm she went to one with even longer hours-out of the frying pan into the fire . This expression, a proverb in many languages, was first recorded in English in 1528.
1. Young children, as in This show is not suitable for small fry.
2. Persons of little importance or influence, as in She wasn't about to invite the Washington small fry to the reception. Both usages allude to fry in the sense of "young or small fish." [Late 1800s]
stew in one's own juice
Suffer the consequences of one's actions, as in He's run into debt again, but this time we're leaving him to stew in his own juice. This metaphoric term alludes to cooking something in its own liquid. Versions of it, such as fry in one's own grease, date from Chaucer's time, but the present term dates from the second half of the 1800s.
have other fish to fryor
have bigger fish to fry
If you have other fish to fry or have bigger fish to fry, you have something more important, interesting, or profitable to do. I didn't pursue it in detail because I'm afraid I had other fish to fry at the time. She tried to avoid wasting time on bureaucratic squabbling. She had bigger fish to fry. Note: This phrase is often varied. For example, if someone has their own fish to fry, they are not interested in doing something because they have business of their own to deal with. Tony comes and goes. He's got his own fish to fry, as they say.
out of the frying pan into the fireor
from the frying pan into the fire
If someone has gone out of the frying pan into the fire or from the frying pan into the fire, they have moved from a bad situation to an even worse one. I was hoping to get my career back on track after a bad time at Villa. But as it turned out, I'd gone out of the frying pan into the fire. Having finally left one bad relationship, she jumped from the frying pan into the fire.
have other (or bigger) fish to fryhave other or more important matters to attend to.
1985 Gregory Benford Artifact Kontos can throw a fit back there, chew the rug, anything—it won't matter. His government has bigger fish to fry.
out of the frying pan into the firefrom a bad situation to one that is worse.
have other/bigger fish to ˈfry(informal) have more important, interesting or useful things to do: He’s not interested in reviewing small provincial exhibitions like this one; he’s got much bigger fish to fry. ♢ So you aren’t coming out with us tonight? I suppose you’ve got other fish to fry.
out of the ˈfrying pan (and) into the ˈfire(saying) out of one situation of danger or difficulty into another (usually worse) one: It was a case of out of the frying pan into the fire: she divorced her husband, who was an alcoholic, and then married another man with the same problem.
ˈsmall fry(informal) people, groups or businesses that are not considered to be important or powerful: These local companies are only small fry compared to the huge multinationals. OPPOSITE: a big name/noise/shot
To prepare or make something by frying: I'll fry up some pancakes for breakfast. They fried some bacon up for the sandwiches.
1. in. to die in the electric chair. (Underworld.) The DA is determined that you will fry.
2. tv. to execute someone in the electric chair. (Underworld.) They’re gonna fry you for this.
Go chase yourself!and Go chase your tail! and Go climb a tree! and Go fly a kite! and Go fry an egg! and Go jump in the lake! and Go soak your head! and Go soak yourself!
exclam. Beat it!; Go away! Oh, go chase yourself! Go soak your head! You’re a pain in the neck.
Go fry an egg!verb
1. n. anything or anyone small or unimportant. (Fry are juvenile fish.) Don’t worry about the small fry. You have to please the fat-cats.
2. n. small children. The small fries have eaten and are getting ready for bed.
other fish to fryInformal
Other matters to attend to: He declined to come along to the movie, saying he had other fish to fry.
fish to fry, to have better/bigger/other
To have other, more important matters to attend to. Referring to fish cookery, this term dates from the seventeenth century. “I fear he has other fish to fry,” wrote John Evelyn in his Memoirs (1660). Actually, this term also appeared in an early translation of Rabelais’s Pantagruel (1552) by Motteux, but it did not seem to catch on until later.
out of the frying pan into the fire
From bad to much worse. This cliché, a proverb in many languages, was already known in the early sixteenth century, appearing in Sir Thomas More’s treatise on heresy (1528), “They lepe lyke a flounder out of the fryenge panne into the fyre.” Shaw used it in one of his cynical remarks: “We shall fall out of the frying-pan of the football club into the fire of the Sunday School” (The Revolutionist’s Handbook, 1903).
better fish to fry
More important things to do. This way of saying that you don't want to waste your time with something (or someone) goes back to 17th-century England. Its French equivalent is “other dogs to whip.” Variations are “other fish to fry” and “better fish to fry.”