fish out of water
See also: fish-out-of-water
Earliest recorded use: "Fishes out of the Water" (1613, Samuel Purchas, Pilgrimage). Earliest use of metaphor by Chaucer in The Canterbury Tales: Prologue (1483) as "fissh that is waterlees".
- (idiomatic) A person in unfamiliar, and often uncomfortable, surroundings.
1921, Edgar Wallace, chapter 2, in The Book of All-Power:
- [I]nto this queer assembly, something of a fish out of water and wholly out of his element, strode Cherry Bim, that redoubtable man.
- 1942 May 25, "Sport: Pitcher Hits Ball," Time (retrieved 2 Oct 2016):
- A pitcher at bat is usually considered such a fish out of water that he is expected to foul, ground or strike out.
- 2004 Dec. 22, Jennifer Medina, "Housewives, Try This for Desperation," New York Times (retrieved 2 Oct 2016):
- Many stay-at-home fathers find that they are fish out of water, too.