A new kettle of fish dating
From Oliver Optic, "I had almost forgot to mention that brother Joseph had arrived in New York, and telegraphs that he shall be here to-night by the New Haven train." "Just like you! "That everlasting niece of yours is in the way again." "A southerly wind and a cloudy sky" may be a very pleasant theme for fox-hunting squires in dear Old England, but when a man is under a cloud in a foreign country, with a southerly wind in his pockets, and Mary Thompson's mark, " M.T." on his clothes chest, then it's quite another kettle of fish. The faithful minister, we are told, may always rely on adequate and generous support, and if at any time, ..."Well, of course you had a great advantage over me so far. There's nothing done here in a regular way, except a little gout and rheumatism.Accidents, of course, one can never depend upon, and what's the use of a case like this once in five years? Now, when I was a young man practising in Smithfield, and taking in free patients, it was a very different kettle of fish. ” said the doctor, voluptuously smacking his lips, “ that was a neighbourhood.You have brought up your Bastard [Tom Jones] to a fine Purpose ; not that I believe you have had any Hand in it neither, that is, as a Man may say, designedly ; but there is a fine Kettle of Fish made on't up at our House.' We talk of a 'pretty kettle of fish,' and kettle is vulgarly supposed to refer to the culinary vessel in which fish is boiled ; this, however, is a mistake, as kettle is a kind of net in which fish is caught, and 'a pretty kettle of fish' merely means a bad catch." is a phrase never used but when something is spoilt or done amiss, thus: "you have made a pretty kettle of fish of it!a fire is kindled, and live salmon thrown into boiling kettles”. The latter means “a situation that is completely different from a previous one”, whilst the former means “to be completely different from something or someone else that has been talked about”. Set a Fish-Kettle on the Fire, with Water enough to boil it, a good Handful of Salt, a Pint of Vinegar, a Bundle of sweet Herbs, and a piece of Horse-raddish; let it boil a Quarter of an Hour, then put in the Head, and when you are sure it is enough, lift up the Fish-Plate with the Fish on it, set it across the Kettle to drain, then lay it in your Dish and lay the Liver on one side.
The expression dates from the late 19th century and was found most commonly in Scotland and the north of England (where fish kettles were and still are quite commonplace).
This pretend dialogue is unusual for the multitude of proverbs and idiomatic phrases that the two knavish masons pitch back and forth in this part of the dialogue—"a Fool's bolt is soon shot," "When Knaves fall out, Honest Men come by their Rights," "a Word to the Wise," "Penny wise and Pound foolish," "putting a Spoke in my Wheel"—but as testimony taken at a trial for adultery adjudicated on December 5, 1738, suggests, "a fine kettle of fish" may not yet have been broadly familiar to English people.
From 'There you have done a fine Piece of Work truly.
he should be in a state of semi-starvation, he ought rather to like it than otherwise, especially if he has a wife and children.
We must pay the policemen, the Judge and the gaoler, but those who do more than any other class of men in the community to diminish the need for either, must be deprived of the scanty pittance doled out to them of late years with such bad grace.
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