neither fish, flesh, nor fowl

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 fowl

Not one or the other; not fitting any category. This term dates from the sixteenth century and appeared in John Heywood’s 1546 Proverbs as “She is nother fyshe, nor fleshe, nor good red hearyng [herring].” The analogy refers to food for monks (fish), for the people (meat), and for the poor (red herring). Shakespeare also used the term; when Falstaff insults Mistress Quickly, he says she’s an otter because “She’s neither fish nor flesh; a man knows not where to have her” (Henry IV, Part 1, 3.3).
See also: fowl, neither, nor