neither


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neither fish, flesh, nor fowl

Neither one thing nor another; not belonging to any suitable class or description; not recognizable or characteristic of any one particular thing. We require a solution that directly deals with the issue at hand, but what the chancellor has put forward is, to my mind, neither fish, flesh nor fowl.
See also: fowl, neither, nor

neither fish, flesh, nor good red herring

obsolete Not belonging to any suitable class of thing; unfit for any purpose or to be used by anyone. This older phrase appeared in a 16th-century proverb collection, where fish refers to food for monks (who abstained from meat), flesh refers to food for the general populace, and "good red herring" refers to inexpensive fish that would have been food for the poor. With crime as it is in this township, the law must be aggressive and dependable; unfortunately, the new constable is neither fish, flesh, nor good red herring.
See also: good, herring, neither, nor, red

neither fish nor flesh

Neither one thing nor another; not belonging to any suitable class or description; not recognizable or characteristic of any one particular thing. We require a solution that directly deals with the issue at hand, but what the chancellor has put forward is, to my mind, neither fish nor flesh.
See also: fish, flesh, neither, nor

be neither fish nor fowl

To be difficult to describe or definitively categorize. What genre of music is this? It's neither fish nor fowl to me.
See also: fish, fowl, neither, nor

be neither one thing nor the other

To be an unappealing combination of two very different things. A: "I thought you liked country and jazz." B: "I do, and that's why this band is so disappointing—it's neither one thing nor the other."
See also: neither, nor, one, other, thing

neither hide nor hair

No trace or evidence of someone or something. I don't know where Mike went. I've seen neither hide nor hair of him all day.
See also: hair, hide, neither, nor

neither fish nor fowl

Neither one thing nor another; not belonging to any suitable class or description; not recognizable or characteristic of any one particular thing. We require a solution that directly deals with the issue at hand, but the proposal that has been put forward is, to my mind, neither fish nor fowl.
See also: fish, fowl, neither, nor

me neither

I also would not or do not. A: "I really don't care for strawberry ice cream." B: "Ugh, me neither!" A: "I wouldn't be caught dead wearing a dress like that." B: "Me neither."
See also: neither

If you run after two hares, you will catch neither.

Prov. You cannot do two things successfully at the same time. Vanessa: If I want to pursue my acting career, I'll have to take more days off to go to auditions. But I want to get ahead in the office, too. Jane: If you run after two hares, you will catch neither.
See also: after, catch, if, neither, run, two, will

Neither a borrower nor a lender be.

Prov. It is difficult to be friends with someone who owes you money or with someone to whom you owe something, so it is better not to borrow or lend in the first place. After losing several of my favorite books because I didn't have the nerve to insist that my friends return them, I learned that it is best to neither a borrower nor a lender be.
See also: neither, nor

Neither can I

 
1. I cannot do that either. (Any subject pronoun can be used in place of I.) Bill: No matter what they do to them, I just can't stand sweet potatoes! Bob: Neither can I. John: Let's go. I cannot tolerate the smoke in here. Jane: Neither can I.
See also: can, neither

neither does someone

[does] not either. Susan does not own a cat, and neither does Mary. Bill doesn't want to see a movie tonight, and neither do I.
See also: does, neither

neither fish nor fowl

Cliché not any recognizable thing. The car that they drove up in was neither fish nor fowl. It must have been made out of spare parts. This proposal is neither fish nor fowl. I can't tell what you're proposing.
See also: fish, fowl, neither, nor

neither here nor there

Cliché of no consequence or meaning; irrelevant and immaterial. Whether you go to the movie or stay at home is neither here nor there. Your comment—though interesting—is neither here nor there.
See also: here, neither, nor, there

*neither rhyme nor reason

Cliché without logic, order, or planning. (Describes something disorganized. *Typically: be ~; have ~.) There seems to be neither rhyme nor reason to Gerald's filing system. The novel's plot had neither rhyme nor reason.
See also: neither, nor, reason, rhyme

hide nor hair, neither

Also, hide or hair. No trace of something lost or missing. For example, I haven't seen hide nor hair of the children. This expression alludes to the entire outer coat of an animal. [Mid-1800s]
See also: hide, neither, nor

neither fish nor fowl

Also, neither fish nor flesh; neither fish, flesh, nor fowl. Not one or the other, not something fitting any category under discussion. For example, They felt he was neither fish nor fowl-not qualified to lead the department, yet not appropriate to work as a staff member either . This expression appeared in slightly different form in John Heywood's 1546 proverb collection ("Neither fish, nor flesh, nor good red herring") and is thought to allude to food for monks ( fish, because they abstained from meat), for the people ( flesh, or meat), and for the poor ( red herring, a very cheap fish).
See also: fish, fowl, neither, nor

neither here nor there

Unimportant, irrelevant, as in You pay for the movie and I'll get the dinner check, or vice versa-it's neither here nor there . This expression was first recorded in 1583. Also see beside the point.
See also: here, neither, nor, there

rhyme or reason, no

An absence of common sense or reasonableness, as in This memo has no rhyme or reason. Closely related variants are without rhyme or reason, as in The conclusion of her paper was without rhyme or reason, and neither rhyme nor reason, as in Neither rhyme nor reason will explain that lawyer's objections. This term originated in French about 1475 and began to be used in English about a century later. Sir Thomas More is credited with saying of a mediocre book that a friend had put into verse, "Now it is somewhat, for now it is rhyme; whereas before it was neither rhyme nor reason."
See also: rhyme

neither fish nor fowl

If something or someone is neither fish nor fowl, they are difficult to identify or understand, because they seem partly like one thing and partly like another. Brunel's vessel was neither fish nor fowl: a passenger liner too ugly and dirty to offer much beyond novelty value. In the American sports press, this athlete is neither fish nor fowl, neither American nor entirely foreign. Note: People occasionally replace fish with flesh. She didn't look one of anything to Oatsie, neither flesh nor fowl, neither idiot nor intellectual. Note: `Fowl' is an old-fashioned word for a hen or other bird.
See also: fish, fowl, neither, nor

neither here nor there

SPOKEN
COMMON If something is neither here nor there, it is completely unimportant and does not affect the situation in any way. He was a good man as it turned out, but that's neither here nor there. You know, five hundred pounds is neither here nor there to most of them.
See also: here, neither, nor, there

neither fish nor fowl

Having no specific characteristics; indefinite.
See also: fish, fowl, neither, nor

neither here nor there

Unimportant and irrelevant.
See also: here, neither, nor, there

neither fish nor fowl

Having no specific characteristics or category, not easily characterized. The phrase, which was originally “neither fish nor flesh nor fowl,” appeared in slightly different form in a 16th-century collection of proverbs as “neither fish, nor flesh, nor good red herring”: fish for monks who ate no meat, flesh for people who could afford meat, and cheap herring for the poor. The phrase is reminiscent of the old riddle: What is neither fish nor flesh, feathers nor bone/but still has fingers and thumbs of its own? Answer: a glove.
See also: fish, fowl, neither, nor

neither rhyme nor reason

Making no sense at all. “Rhyme” alludes to poetry and by extension all of the creative arts, while “reason” stands for intellect. Accordingly, something that can't be understood or justified in terms of either artistic merit or logic is indeed of little value.
See also: neither, nor, reason, rhyme
References in classic literature ?
They are so perpetually alarmed with the apprehensions of these, and the like impending dangers, that they can neither sleep quietly in their beds, nor have any relish for the common pleasures and amusements of life.
In the case of 'positives' and 'privatives', on the other hand, neither of the aforesaid statements holds good.
Neither was the Great Stone Face forgotten, for the poet had celebrated it in an ode, which was grand enough to have been uttered by its own majestic lips.
for they are neither [1278a] sojourners nor foreigners?
He received here what he neither expected nor wanted among his own people -- sympathy.
The countess, who had long noticed what was going on between them and was expecting this declaration, listened to him in silence and then told her son that he might marry whom he pleased, but that neither she nor his father would give their blessing to such a marriage.
Tarzan knew the note, and he knew that it spelled neither rage nor hunger, and then he risked all on a single throw, encouraged by that low whine.
What now," he said, "have the King's men respect neither for piety nor age that they burst in upon the seclusion of a holy man without so much as a 'by your leave'?
Michael neither liked nor disliked him, but, rather, merely accepted him.
The night was pretty dark, with neither moon nor stars visible, and as Brower had never dwelt thereabout, and knew nothing of the lay of the land, he was, naturally, not long in losing himself.
And for fear that the idea may still lurk in some minds that my preceding years of drinking were the cause of my disabilities, I here point out that my Japanese cabin boy, Nakata, still with me, was rotten with fever, as was Charmian, who in addition was in the slough of a tropical neurasthenia that required several years of temperate climates to cure, and that neither she nor Nakata drank or ever had drunk.
He did not know at first, and he does not know now, what is the side of a figure of eight feet: but then he thought that he knew, and answered confidently as if he knew, and had no difficulty; now he has a difficulty, and neither knows nor fancies that he knows.
One of them was an aunt of mine, my only relation, who quarrelled with poor father as long as he lived about some silly matter that had neither right nor wrong to it.
And if any one asserts that the violation of oaths and treaties, which was really the work of Pandarus, was brought about by Athene and Zeus, or that the strife and contention of the gods was instigated by Themis and Zeus, he shall not have our approval; neither will we allow our young men to hear the words of Aeschylus, that
the girl that your la'ship saw at church on Sunday, whom you thought so handsome; though you would not have thought her so handsome neither, if you had seen her nearer, but to be sure she hath been carried before the justice for being big with child.