smell fishy

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

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 ?
Doesn't it smell fishy that our leaders are not with us in the fight for sovereignty, territory, resources, and even jobs for the ordinary Filipino?
Eyenutrients added: "Most omega-3 products smell fishy because they have already started to oxidise.
Milfoil on the other hand only made quasi-adequate garden fill, making the village smell fishy for several summers.
Usually, things don't begin to smell fishy on this show until voting starts.
Usually, things don't start to smell fishy on this show until the voting starts.
I don't know who's setting the value on the donations but the numbers smell fishy to me.
In another article titled "Unintended' NATO bombing smell fishy," published in Global Times, the author appropriately mentioned that "NATO military has stuck a nail in Pakistan.
If it ever gets yellow instead of white, or starts to smell fishy or bready, something is wrong.
Alex is recruited by MI6--not quite willingly--to take over where his uncle left off, trying to uncover the evil schemes of a billionaire philanthropist whose plans to benefit England's schoolchildren smell fishy.
Tablets that contain chlorophyllin, a related synthetic compound, are given to people with colostomies, as well as those with an inherited disorder that makes their urine smell fishy, to reduce odor.
The main character Bibiane (Marie-Josee Croze) is plagued by fish sellers and eventually kills one, making her car smell fishy. Attempting suicide by flinging herself and her car into a body of water, she survives to meet the son of the man she killed, whose name is Evian.
Does something smell fishy? A new sensor developed by scientists at Lund University in Sweden can provide a chemically accurate answer to that question by acting as a simple electronic nose (SN: 2/19/2000, p.
Do fish still smell fishy when they're under water?