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kettle of fish

noun
1.
an awkward, difficult, or bad situation; muddle; mess:
He's managed to get himself into a fine kettle of fish!
2.
a state of affairs; a matter under consideration:
The new proposal is quite a different kettle of fish from the last one.
Origin
1735-1745
1735-45
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for kettle of fish
  • And a pretty kettle of fish they make of it between them.
  • The origins of life are an entirely different kettle of fish.
  • Getting those molecules to stick only to tumour cells, though, is a different kettle of fish.
  • Speculators, despite their bad name, are a different and far healthier kettle of fish.
  • Semiconductors and microchips are a different kettle of fish.
  • Contrarian science policy is another kettle of fish because your choice is either to enact the policy or not.
  • He has sown his wild oats and finds himself undismayed, but nevertheless with a pretty kettle of fish in his palatial cauldrons.
  • Criminal prosecutions are different kettle of fish entirely, and her responsibilities and duties would be different.
  • It's an altogether different kettle of fish and it takes focus and concentration, and it takes consideration.
  • So that's a different kettle of fish, if you will, from what you're discussing now.
British Dictionary definitions for kettle of fish

kettle of fish

noun
1.
a situation; state of affairs (often used ironically in the phrase a pretty or fine kettle of fish)
2.
case; matter for consideration: that's quite a different kettle of fish
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for kettle of fish

kettle of fish

Related Terms

fine kettle of fish


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with kettle of fish

kettle of fish

.
Also, a fine or pretty kettle of fish. An unpleasant or messy predicament, as in They haven't spoken in years, and they're assigned to adjoining seats—that's a fine kettle of fish. This term alludes to the Scottish riverside picnic called kettle of fish, where freshly caught salmon were boiled and eaten out of hand. [ Early 1700s ]
.
a different or another kettle of fish. A very different matter or issue, not necessarily a bad one. For example, They're paying for the meal? That's a different kettle of fish. [ First half of 1900s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Difficulty index for kettle of fish

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Word Value for kettle

10
11
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