English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List of Idioms - F
|of the first water||Something that is
of the first water is of the finest or
most exceptional quality (like being
compared to a diamond).
The violinist gave a performance that was of the first water.
|other fish to fry||If you have
other fish to fry, you have more
important things to do.
I don't think he'll attend the office party; he's got other fish to fry.
|big fish in a small pond||This term refers to
an important or highly-ranked person in a
small group or organisation.
He could get a job with a big company but he enjoys being a big fish in a small pond.
|plenty of other fish||To say this means
that there are many other people just as
good as the person mentioned.
The candidate we selected refused the job? Never mind - there are (plenty of) other fish in the sea!
|fish out of water||If you feel
like a fish out of water, you feel
uncomfortable in unfamiliar surroundings.
As a non-golfer, I felt like a fish out of water at the clubhouse.
|fish in troubled waters||If you fish in
troubled waters, you try to gain
advantages for yourself from a disturbed
state of affairs.
Between the declaration of independence and the first elections, some people were accused of fishing in troubled waters.
|neither fish nor fowl||This expression is
used to describe people or things that are
difficult to classify, that are neither one
thing nor another.
Medical interns are neither fish nor fowl. They are neither students nor fully qualified practitioners.
|fishing expedition||If someone is on a
fishing expedition, they are trying to
obtain information in any way possible.
The lunch invitation was clearly a fishing expedition to obtain information about his private life.
|fishing for compliments||When someone is
obviously waiting for you to say something
nice, they are fishing for compliments.
I know why she invited us to her new house - she's just fishing for compliments.
|fit the bill||If someone or
something fits the bill, they are
exactly right for a particular situation.
They wanted a quiet place to stay and the country inn fitted the bill.
|fit as a fiddle||A person who is as
fit as a fiddle is in an excellent
state of health or physical condition.
My grandfather is nearly ninety but he's as fit as a fiddle.
|fit like a glove||If something
fits like a glove, it fits you
I was lucky! The first skirt I tried on fitted me like a glove!
|fit of pique||Someone who reacts
by showing their resentment or annoyance
when their pride has been wounded, or they
feel insulted, is said
to have a fit of pique.
She left the table in a fit of pique.
|fit for purpose||Something that is
suitable for a particular function and is
fully operational is said to be fit for
The mayor promised that the new leisure centre would be ready on time and fit for purpose.
alphabetical lists F ...
more alphabetical lists ...