smell fishy

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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
References in periodicals archive ?
I remember coming out of a spa smelling fishy but that was a long time ago.
But using too many scented soaps can give you an infection called bacterial vaginosis, a condition that leaves you smelling fishy not fragrant.
A lot of oily fish - eg mackerel, herring and tuna - can seep through the pores and leave your skin smelling fishy.
A body winds up floating in the river as a result of what's supposed to be a red herring, which is still smelling fishy by the time the end credits roll.