kettle of fish


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kettle of fish

n. pl. kettles of fish
1. A troublesomely awkward or embarrassing situation.
2. A matter to be reckoned with: Making money and keeping it are two quite different kettles of fish.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

kettle of fish

n
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 and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

ket′tle of fish′


n.
1. an awkward, difficult, or bad situation; muddle; mess.
2. a state of affairs; matter under consideration: This new proposal is a different kettle of fish altogether.
[1735–45]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

kettle of fish

- Meaning "mess, muddle," the phrase is from "a pretty kettle of fish," a corruption of "kiddle of fish," in which a kiddle is a basket set in the opening of a weir for catching fish.
See also related terms for mess.
Farlex Trivia Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.kettle of fish - informal terms for a difficult situationkettle of fish - informal terms for a difficult situation; "he got into a terrible fix"; "he made a muddle of his marriage"
difficulty - a condition or state of affairs almost beyond one's ability to deal with and requiring great effort to bear or overcome; "grappling with financial difficulties"
dog's breakfast, dog's dinner - a poor job; a mess; "they made a real dog's breakfast of that job"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
"Well, this is a pretty kettle of fish," she said wrathfully.
Epanchin are, so there was a pretty kettle of fish. All the Bielokonskis went into mourning for the poodle.
A pretty kettle of fish it would be for me, too, to be caught with them both here, just now!
I've only ever driven a car like this on the track and it's a different kettle of fish zipping between villages or parking in a town square.
"Barca are a different kettle of fish. I'm not sure it will affect them, but you saw last season it affected City when we beat them 3-0, it affected Roma.
Fulham can't stop conceding and will suffer a fourth straight defeat 3 Chelsea 1 Tottenham 2 TOTTENHAM were stung by their defeat at Burnley and they can take advantage of the chaos which seems to be engulfing Chelsea by taking all three points at Stamford Bridge 4 Liverpool 3 Watford 1 WATFORD rattled five past Cardiff City and have three successive wins in all competitions, but this is a different kettle of fish. Liverpool to turn on the winning style once again 5 ManCity3 West Ham 0 BUOYED by their Carabao Cup final win and keen to keep the pressure on leaders Liverpool, it's hard to see top-scoring City missing out on the chance to add to their 74 goals so far
CROWHURST (12A) HHHH H THIS year's second biopic about doomed British amateur yachtsman Donald Crowhurst is a far more compelling kettle of fish than Colin Firth's washed-out turn in The Mercy.
I believe nuclear warfare will be a different kettle of fish from the second world war, for example.
Unfortunately when one's eyes move to ground level it is a different kettle of fish. We now have a 50 shades of grey ultra-modern building that is the new fire station.
"Djakadam obviously has a huge amount of ability and to win the Thyestes off top weight is a fair performance, but it will be a different kettle of fish for both horses in the Gold Cup.
A Different Kettle of Fish: A Day in the Life of a Physics Student with Autism
"I would say C02 is a different kettle of fish. It's plant food.