fish out of water, a

Idioms & Phrases

fish out of water, a

A person away from his or her usual environment or activities. For example, Using a computer for the first time, Carl felt like a fish out of water, or On a hiking trail, Nell was a fish out of water. This expression alludes to the fact that fish cannot survive for long on dry land. [Late 1300s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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