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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


Alphabetical List of Idioms F, page 8

Idioms F, page 8:  from:   'first water'   to:   'fit for purpose'


  • (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 in the sea
    • 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!"

  • like a 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."

  • fits 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."

  • (as)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 perfectly.
      "I was lucky! The first skirt I tried on fitted me like a glove!"

  • (a) 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 purpose.
      "The mayor promised that the new leisure centre would be ready on time and fit for purpose."

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