kettle of fish

Idiom Definition 1

Idiom Definition - kettle of fish

"kettle of fish"

an awkward, difficult, or bad situation;

a muddle;

a mess


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Definition 2

Idiom Definition - kettle of fish

"kettle of fish"

a state of affairs;

a matter under consideration


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - kettle of fish

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  I just made a huge sale. Twelve thousand units to be delivered next week.

Colleague 2:  That's a fine kettle of fish you have put us in.

Colleague 1:  What's the problem?

Colleague 2:  We have three other big orders due next week and the factory is already at maximum production.

Colleague 1:  This could be an awkward situation. We don't want to lose a new customer by not delivering and we don't want to alienate existing customers by delaying their orders. This is a real dilemma.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - kettle of fish

A couple are talking ...

Husband:  I am thinking about putting in some irrigation for the back garden.

Wife:  That's a good idea. You can make some short hoses and a series of taps to control each zone. Then before winter comes, you can disassemble the system and put it away before winter comes to freeze and burst the hoses.

Husband:  Actually, I was thinking of installing a permanent, underground system that could be drained and blown out before winter.

Wife:  That is an entirely different kettle of fish.

kettle of fish - Usage:


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kettle of fish - Gerund Form:

There is no gerund form for kettle of fish.

kettle of fish - Examples:

1)  ... having to correct my heading. Passage making in the Atlantic is a completely different kettle of fish. The distances are much greater than in the Mediterranean.

2)  Indeed, I predicted that the 2008 election would be a different kettle of fish than the 2006 election. Because with Stephen Harper having a two-year-long record ...

3)  ... statute that grants them sole use of the mark, so it's a different kettle of fish than ordinary trademark law, with different, wider-reaching rules.

4)  ... discussing small business financing possibilities for growth, not for startups, a whole different kettle of fish.

5)  Also, as you point out, it's a whole different kettle of fish to try to live on not enough money over a long period of ...

6)  ... oval track crowd in its pocket. But the road-racing audience -- that's another kettle of fish.

7)  ... FCC having made a ruling that said that the cable firms are a completely different kettle of fish and are not categorized as communications companies, ... 

8)  Singer/songwriter-ing can be a lonely old kettle of fish, so I enlisted my imaginary friend Ron Moth to help.

9)  ... or parents changing their minds after the fact, that's a different kettle of fish.

10)  Queenslanders are a different kettle of fish though! Broad broad Aussie accents up there!

11)  ... that plagiarism is "bad" which covers copyright issues, patents are a different kettle of fish entirely which brings us to the title of the essay. 

12)  Weird War II is a different kettle of fish from the usual fetishising of the Second World War.

13)  Medicare and Medicaid is the big kettle of fish -- and the only way to fix them is as part of a ...

14)  ... first year, up until he cheated on me, but thats a whole other kettle of fish.

15)  ... Google for facilitating, but the question of marketing and distribution is a whole other kettle of fish, one that would be ill-served by the emergence of a publishing monopoly ...

16)  ... care to your child and instead going for faith healing, that is a different kettle of fish. Because you are IMPOSING your views on another person.

17)  ... the walls if possible--it is a big and very messy job, and opens a kettle of fish with the moldings and whatnot. If the plaster is cracked, ...

18)  ... whether having been introduced to democracy they will know how to handle it is another kettle of fish entirely.

19)  ... he isn't talking policy he is talking "messaging". A very different kettle of fish.

20)  ... of being responsible for themselves due to mental illness. That's a whole other kettle of fish, not only in regard to sexual relationships but romantic ones in general ...