neither fish nor fowl


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Related to neither fish nor fowl: neither fish nor fowl nor good red herring

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

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 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 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 fish nor fowl (nor good red herring)

of indefinite character and difficult to identify or classify.
This expression arose with reference to dietary laws formerly laid down by the Church during periods of fasting or abstinence.
See also: fish, fowl, neither, nor

neither ˌfish nor ˈfowl

neither one thing nor another: Graduate teaching assistants are neither fish nor fowl, neither completely students nor teachers.
See also: fish, fowl, neither, nor

neither fish nor fowl

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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
What he did at the Post, where he tried to rebuild not only the newspaper, but all of journalism, into a strange conglomerate that was neither fish nor fowl. It became merely a place for him to fail in an attempt to weave a magic spell, was rewarded with a large salary.
Interviewees observed that teachers receive state certification but nursing licensure often is not recognized as of equal status to teacher certification, partially because teacher certification requires at least a bachelor degree, yet many levels of education exist for the "nurse." As uncertified staff members, nurses described themselves as "neither fish nor fowl." Many nurses felt they are called upon when a need arises, but they aren't respected; they're classified with janitors and lunchroom personnel, and this classification is reflected in their salaries and the level of respect they receive.
It is easy to be cynical, but basically a second-rate Assembly without powers to raise its own taxes or to pass meaningful legislation is neither fish nor fowl. Perhaps it is the way devolution of power to Wales was devised that is the real millstone hanging around its neck.
For more information on GSEs, see the Mercatus working paper by Jay Cochran and Catherine England, "Neither Fish nor Fowl" available on Mercatus's website.
This was neither fish nor fowl, though some of the acting performances may have fallen into the foul category.
Its deadlines are neither fish nor fowl. Online publishing has broadcast's immediacy, but its words and pictures, like those in newspapers, can linger on PC screens long after a breaking story has been updated.
Although it has two distinct SUV choices, Lexus has no station wagons; the new 5-door IS-based sport hatch is a temporary solution, but it's neither fish nor fowl. And it's unlikely Lexus would consider a luxury pickup like Caddy's Escalade EXT or Lincoln's Blackwood.
The result is a text that seems neither fish nor fowl, that seems at once impoverished and flowery.
Against that, Flo is neither fish nor fowl and, despite the fact he is 6ft 5ins tall he's about as much use in the air as a duck with its wings clipped.
One of Roberta Gregory's favorite phrases is "Neither fish nor fowl." It's a perfect way to describe where the radical bisexual artist stands in relation to the gay community.
Unfortunately, instead of a tightly woven combination of literary and historical analysis, which stresses the divisions and congruencies of popular and official culture and Chaucer's straddling of the worlds of court and business, the book is neither fish nor fowl. From the title of the book, the reader might expect this to be an effort to put Chaucer into the historical context of either his fourteenth-century contemporaries or of his readers in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.
To me, they were neither fish nor fowl; capable neither of doing a real job like towing, nor of offering the comfort of a saloon car.
Neither fish nor fowl, they did not fall under the domain of either the party organization or the committee system.