kettle of fish

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(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)


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kettle of fish (plural kettles of fish)

  1. (idiomatic) An awkward situation; a predicament.
    • 2004, Ellen Raskin, The Westing Game, chapter 13:
      "That's a fine kettle of fish," he exclaimed, then turned to his dinner companion. "Fine kettle of fish. I'm so hungry even that sounds good, and from the looks of this menu that's probably what I'll get."
  2. (idiomatic) A situation which is recognized as different from or as an alternative to some other situation, and which is not necessarily unfavorable.
    That is another kettle of fish entirely.