kettle of fish

kettle of fish
noun
informal terms for a difficult situation
-

he got into a terrible fix

-

he made a muddle of his marriage

Syn: ↑fix, ↑hole, ↑jam, ↑mess, ↑muddle, ↑pickle
Hypernyms: ↑difficulty
Hyponyms: ↑dog's breakfast, ↑dog's dinner

* * *

\see kettle\
1. : a bad state of affairs : mess, predicament

here's a pretty how-de-do, here's a pretty kettle of fish — W.S.Gilbert

2. : a thing to be considered or reckoned with : matter, affair

books and discs … were two very different kettles of fish — Roland Gelatt

a far different kettle of fish from the fictionalized life stories of Hollywood — Lee Rogow

* * *

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.
[1735-45]

* * *

kettle of fish,
1. an awkward state of affairs; mess; muddle: »

Here's a pretty kettle of fish…you have brought upon us (Henry Fielding).

2. a thing to be considered; matter; situation: »

National politics are a very different kettle of fish from those of the provinces (London Times).

* * *

kettle of fish
informal
1 : a bad situation :mess

Well, this is a fine/nice/pretty kettle of fish.

2 : something or someone that is being considered or dealt with

I have experience in domestic law, but international law is another kettle of fish. [=matter]

• • •
Main Entry:kettle

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • kettle of fish — A pretty or fine kettle of fish is a difficult problem or situation …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • kettle of fish — n. 1. a difficult or embarrassing situation 2. a matter to be dealt with …   English World dictionary

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  • kettle of fish — {v. phr.}, {informal} Something to be considered; how things are; a happening; business. * /I thought he needed money, but it was another kettle of fish his car had disappeared./ Usually used with pretty , fine , nice , but meaning bad trouble. * …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • kettle of fish — {v. phr.}, {informal} Something to be considered; how things are; a happening; business. * /I thought he needed money, but it was another kettle of fish his car had disappeared./ Usually used with pretty , fine , nice , but meaning bad trouble. * …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • kettle of fish — noun a) An awkward situation; a predicament. Thats a fine kettle of fish, he exclaimed, then turned to his dinner companion. Fine kettle of fish. Im so hungry even that sounds good, and from the looks of this menu thats probably what Ill get. b)… …   Wiktionary

  • kettle\ of\ fish — v. phr. informal Something to be considered; how things are; a happening; business. I thought he needed money, but it was another kettle of fish his car had disappeared. Usually used with pretty , fine , nice , but meaning bad trouble. He had two …   Словарь американских идиом

  • kettle of fish — 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. [1735… …   Universalium

  • kettle of fish — 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[/ex] • Etymology: 1735–45 …   From formal English to slang

  • kettle of fish —    A pretty or fine kettle of fish is a difficult problem or situation.   (Dorking School Dictionary) …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

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