Something fishy about fishy..

@vandana7 (55363)
India
May 29, 2011 2:38am CST
Ok..I dont eat fish..I dont relish it even with its Omega whatever. And I have some moral issues with killing those cute things ..but that is personal. You are welcome to eat them. I will even cook it for you the way I know if you ever visit me. Now, my question is..if fish is so delicious, why do we say something is fishy about it? Seriously why do we associate fish with the word suspicion. English is a funny language. Somebody once said a fat chance and slim chance in English have same meaning. Get what I mean?
7 people like this
23 responses
@veganbliss (3891)
• Adelaide, Australia
30 May 11
Good on you for avoiding the killing of fish for the purpose of eating. Yes, we do refer to something questionable or suspicious as being "fishy". This term refers more to the act of fishing than it does fish. If something is suspicious, it doesn't necessarily mean it is immediately condemnable. We therefore need to fish around a bit more to determine the truth of the matter. It is better to cast doubt on what you believe you are seeing / hearing / thinking / feeling & call it fishy, because something just doesn't add up than to immediately come to the wrong conclusion just because you don't have the full picture. You are right. English is a funny language, loaded with paradoxes. Here are some more: We park in a driveway & drive on a parkway. We recite at a play & play at a recital. We ship by truck & send cargo by ship. We have noses that run & feet that smell. Quicksand works slowly Boxing rings are square Public bathrooms have no baths A guinea pig is neither a pig nor from Guinea. Why is it that a writer writes, but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce, humdingers don't hum & hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, shouldn't the plural or booth be beeth? One goose, two geese - so one moose, two meese? One index, two indicies - one Kleenex, two Kleenices? One can make amends, but not just one amend. We can comb through the annals of history, but not just one annal. If I have a heap of odds & ends, & I get rid of all but one, what do I call it? If a teacher taught, shouldn't a preacher have praught? If a horsehair mat is made from the hair of horses & a camelhair coat made from the hair of camels, from what is a mohair coat made? How can a slim chance & a fat chance be the same, while a wise man & a wise guy are opposites? How can "overlook" & "oversee" be opposites, while "quite a lot" & "quite a few" are alike? How can the weather be hot as hell one day & cold as hell the next? Do you find that we talk about certain things only when they are absent? Have you ever seen a horseful carriage or a strapful gown, met a sung hero or experienced requited love? Have you ever met someone who was combobulated, gruntled, ruly or peccable? Where are those people who are spring chickens or who actually would hurt a fly? I've met people who can cut the mustard & whom I would touch with a ten-foot pole, but I can't discuss them in English! There's something of a unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill out a form by filling it in & which your alarm clock goes off by going on. When the stars come out they are visible, but when the lights are out they are invisible. When I wind up my watch I start it, but when I wind up this posting I end it! That was by Richard Lederer. George Carlin writes: We now have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways , but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness. We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things. We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less. These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete... Remember, spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.. Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.. Remember, to say, 'I love you' to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you. Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind. AND ALWAYS REMEMBER: Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away..."
@vandana7 (55363)
• India
30 May 11
You truly took my breath away.
• Adelaide, Australia
30 May 11
Thank you.
1 person likes this
@Maggiepie (7821)
• United States
30 May 11
VANDANA: If you haven't already bestowed it elsewhere, you MUST give Veganbliss the Best Response mark! Maggiepie "English doesn't borrow from other languages. It follows other languages down dark alleys, knocks them over & goes through their pockets for loose grammar." ~ Seen on a t-shirt (source unknown)
• India
30 May 11
Vandanaji I agree english is real funny language, it is difficult too, well i left eating fish long ago though the river Mahanadi is just half a kilometers from my home and Hirakud dam is 10 kilometers, fresh fish costs 200 rupees a kilogram. Why i left is simple, i ate 3 pieces of fried fish, i had to scratch my entire body for whole night, i was admitted in hospital. The reasons could not be known, but i think it had some link with fish.. Thanks for sharing God bless you, have a nice day ahead. Professor ‘Bhuwan’. .
2 people like this
@vandana7 (55363)
• India
30 May 11
Oh dear..it could be.. Yes, English is funny and difficult, and CONFUSING..
1 person likes this
@thesids (22455)
• Bhubaneswar, India
29 May 11
Hi Vandanaji Many people are still unsure if that dish is Vegetarian or a Non-Vegetarian... as they are unaware of the word - Pescetarian And they put the blame on the FISH... poor fish... I love you anyway you come to me
@vandana7 (55363)
• India
29 May 11
Looks like you love fish sids. But I truly dont know how to cook it! Now why do they consider it vegetarian - beats me. It moves na? And it bleeds as well.
@thesids (22455)
• Bhubaneswar, India
29 May 11
Well, they are confused as the normal concept (what I realize after a many discussions with them) is that they need to have BONES to be classified as NON-Veg but Poor fishes have only Thorns (as they call these for their bones) I like fishes - at the aquarium at my dads for my nephew and also on the table - grilled or roasted or even fried... Medically I have been prescribed ones with Omega 3 but I am unsure how that gets into me as I read Omega 3 is a kind of oil extracted from fishes... but eating them on the medical advice makes no sense to me @praa-ji
@locakai (166)
• United States
29 May 11
I don't eat fish, its to expensive. And catching fish, some wildlife experts wants you to catch and throw it back in....So I just do fish oil omega 3 pills, the soft gel. One soft gel with any food. Its great, but not so, because when I burp that all I taste is the fish. Idk, but if you need omega 3, get some. It sold at dollar general, walmart, or any other places at the pharmacy area.
@SIMPLYD (73083)
• Philippines
30 May 11
Well, since fish smells different, it is used in that one liner. When we say "i smell something fishy", it means we are noticing something that is not in conformity with the usual norm of living.
1 person likes this
@vandana7 (55363)
• India
30 May 11
This seems very logical.."not in conformity with the usual norm of living". Poor fish..inspite of its sacrifices it is not acceptable in the usual norm. Thank you for your response, have a nice day.
@Hatley (152484)
• Garden Grove, California
29 May 11
hi vandana I always wondered why we say something is fishy? maybe its because here in the US so many Anmericans buy the stale fish that is starting to emit ammonia fumes from being too long in getting to the stores.hence people think that fish bought from the supermarket after being in transit from the source to the wholesaler to the supermarket are supposed to smell like ammonia. they have not tasted fresh fish that have no odor at all. so when we say fishy we mean something stinks.lol lol yes our American English is truly an odd language. for example a police officer might say of a fellow officer he always has to hotdog it, meaning the other officer is a show off and takes too many chances. I have always wonder why the use of hotdog as to most Amnerican that means a weiner or frankforter. so fish from most supermarkets is not that delicious but go down to Newport beach and buy fresh fisher from Fisherman's dory as they go out early each morning and catch a lot of choice fist and sell them that same morning. their prices are most reasonable and they are really good and good for you. o
1 person likes this
@vandana7 (55363)
• India
30 May 11
Dear Hatley, that was interesting. About hotdog as well. The word fishy is making more sense.
@saphrina (31740)
• South Africa
29 May 11
I don't at fish, ma.
@saphrina (31740)
• South Africa
29 May 11
No fish, chicken, pork or lamb. I only eat beef.
@saphrina (31740)
• South Africa
29 May 11
How nice of you.
@saphrina (31740)
• South Africa
29 May 11
No thanx, i'm fine.
1 person likes this
@jennyze (7048)
• Indonesia
30 May 11
Ha ha ha, you are more concern on the why and how. While I am more concern on the what and when. I like to eat fish and don't look at me as fishy... See, I don't know the why and how...
@vandana7 (55363)
• India
30 May 11
You forgot where and which..
@jennyze (7048)
• Indonesia
30 May 11
Some other people like to know the where and which...
@vandana7 (55363)
• India
30 May 11
Who, why?
@yugasini (12813)
• Anantapur, India
29 May 11
hi Vandana madam. Your discussions are some what different when understanding,i do not have that much stuff with me,when you are not killing how can you cook fish for us and ,so when you will invite us to come over to your house to eat some thing other than non vegetarian,now how is your father,have a nice day
@yugasini (12813)
• Anantapur, India
29 May 11
hi Flagaz, thanks for the response,yes god has given voice to us,so we can say any thing we have to say,when people are interested to do unwanted things,they say like that,only West Bangal there people will teat fish as vegetarian,this is one type of escape to say like that is fishy,if we like what ever we may say,have a nice day
@yugasini (12813)
• Anantapur, India
29 May 11
hi Flagaz, thanks for the response,i too know about Dasa avatara of vishnu from Varahavataram,we treat all animals are diciples of god,still people are cutting them and eating them,so avoid that one,people will tell any thing if they want that thing,that is common in our life,have a nice day
@vandana7 (55363)
• India
30 May 11
@Yugasini - it is not about eating fish that I was asking. It is about using the word "fishy" to express something that is suspicious. The word is used like that in English, and I felt it was not justified. @flagaz - while that is true, fact remains that many of our gods did eat non-veg, and so did rishis, and munis. Hunting was an accepted sport and occupation. Killing birds was lower class thing. That is why Valmikiji was killing birds before he wrote Ramayana. It was actually divided as per castes. Therefore, Kshatriyas who required more power to win in battlefield were allowed to eat. Brahmins and Vysyas were not because their profession would not require them to be so powerful. Shudras were again allowed to eat. As to Goddess Durga..she is prayed to by kshatriyas. Anyway, if we get into this ..the discussion topic would go in a different direction. :)
@vnrsudhan (1514)
• India
29 May 11
Hi vandana, English is indeed a funny and queer language.It has 'imported' a lot of words from other languages,mostly from latin and french.English is a beautiful language full of phrases and metaphors,.Two words can mean or even sound the same,lol. Happy mylotting!
@vandana7 (55363)
• India
29 May 11
Queer, queer, queer...tell that to an Englishman, and they will be up with arms against you..
1 person likes this
@vnrsudhan (1514)
• India
29 May 11
lol,you seem to have mistaken my point.I do not mean that in a negative sense.lol,i mean queer as in kinda interesting and mystifying.
@vandana7 (55363)
• India
29 May 11
Oh I get it..but I on the other hand do find English truly queer.. and queer as queer means..
1 person likes this
@Maggiepie (7821)
• United States
30 May 11
It's the smell of rotting fish which gave rise to the expression, which, in full, is "I smell something fishy." One can't just cover up a decaying fish; the smell is so pervasive & vile it's bound to be noticed, eventually. As for the oddities of English, you are 100% correct. As a tutor of ESL, I can fully vouch for your justified confusion! Maggiepie "English doesn't borrow from other languages. It follows other languages down dark alleys, knocks them over & goes through their pockets for loose grammar." ~ Seen on a t-shirt (source unknown)
@vandana7 (55363)
• India
30 May 11
Gee thanks. I feel kind of exonerated for my confusion. How are you doing my dear friend? :) And yes, veganbliss is getting the BR. :)
1 person likes this
@Maggiepie (7821)
• United States
30 May 11
Oh, I can't complain...they beat me if I do! (snurk snurk snurk! ) Good judgment call re veganbliss' BR, but then, I knew you were smart! Maggiepie "English doesn't borrow from other languages. It follows other languages down dark alleys, knocks them over & goes through their pockets for loose grammar." ~ Seen on a t-shirt (source unknown)
@vandana7 (55363)
• India
31 May 11
Coming from you, it is huge compliment.
1 person likes this
@allknowing (54673)
• India
29 May 11
I smell a rat! You say you do not like fish but you know how to cook!Anyway fish is my cup of tea. We can't catch those who pushed it down our throat - no I don't mean the fish - I mean the English language with all the complications. But don't you think other languages have their own story to tell? Now they say Rome was not built in a day, as though all other cities were.My brain is getting over taxed. Let me call it a day here and see what other users have to say!
@vandana7 (55363)
• India
29 May 11
@flagaz...the fiddle thing about Nero is true you know...
@allknowing (54673)
• India
29 May 11
Live rats never smell!. Or do they?
@vandana7 (55363)
• India
29 May 11
What they excrete does..
@missak (3311)
• Spain
31 May 11
Well... I think most languages have this, at least the languages I know. People do like make expressions from analogies but also from antonyms, that is why you can end with an expression that has two contradictory meanings. In spanish you can even find words that means the opposite in America than in Spain...
@vandana7 (55363)
• India
31 May 11
Is that so? No wonder Americans get confused with latinos. But it is fun to recall a few. I pity fish though.
1 person likes this
@missak (3311)
• Spain
31 May 11
Ok, we have a good example here... my english is not so good to understand this sentence: "No wonder Americans get confused with latinos" I have been told that "wonder" is a great thing, like a dream, like in Alice in Wonder Land, so I can't understand the meaning of "no wonder" I was speaking about people from different parts of America (South, Caribean, and even some states of the north like Florida) whose mother tonge is spanish, but not the same spanish from spain, so we have expressions like this: when you call a person "fantasma" (ghost), in America we understand that it is a clever person, who can do tricks to survive, like a hero when you call a person "fantasma" in Spain, they understand is a coward or a false person with a fake personality I will think if I can remember more examples.
@vandana7 (55363)
• India
1 Jun 11
Hey, that is great example.. Imagine an American going to Spain and getting bashed up for his Spanish. Can we have some more of those please?
@moksha09 (468)
• India
30 May 11
The smell associated with fish could be the reason. One can tell that a person has eaten fish by shaking his hands. The smell is not pleasant at all. The smell gives you away. So when something does not meet the eye or simply put is arousing doubts then one says something is fishy here. English is a funny language , no doubt but a lovely language , nevertheless.
@vandana7 (55363)
• India
30 May 11
Your command over English is better than mine, so you are more comfortable in it. I feel as if I am wearing oversized clothes.
@moksha09 (468)
• India
31 May 11
It is a free and expressive language and I love to read books where the description can create the situation in a life like manner. As for the spoken skills I admire those who can simply flow on and on.I'm not a native English person but unfortunately I'm more fluent in English than my mother tongue but I can never ever be as fluent as the native English.I feel I'm limited and do tend to repeat myself a lot.Occasionally i come up with innovative speech or text but such inspired writing or talking happens very occasionally. I am yet to reach the elusive zone so far as writing or speaking is concerned.But I am learning all the time and when I really do well in English I will know. I am fairly comfortable communicating in English but I don't know why you feel any less about your English skills. You are very expressive and one can feel your love, innocence and sadness when you post where as I come across as abrasive and blunt and anyone can can tell you who is better.I like the way you communicate and you are far more sensitive to others' feelings than I ever will be. Coming back to your discussion I was right it has to do with the smell or stink. If you smell something fishy, soon its going to stink to the heavens above.
@vandana7 (55363)
• India
31 May 11
Moksha - you are red now. May be your glib tongue is getting you those marks. Keep it up.
@jazel_juan (15767)
• Philippines
30 May 11
because of its smells..but then the heck i also do not know. And i don't like fish that much. i am picky on fishes.
@vandana7 (55363)
• India
30 May 11
I agree that fish does smell. But so do other sea foods. Like lobsters, prawns....what about chicken? I dont eat meat, but chicken is the only one that I can cook somewhat..
1 person likes this
@Maggiepie (7821)
• United States
30 May 11
VANDANA: I suppose it began among a fishing-based society. Different corners of society generate their own peculiar (not in the sense of "odd," but of "separateness") expressions. Had chicken farmers come up with a similar expression, it might have been stated: "I smell a rotten egg somewhere..." Maggiepie "English doesn't borrow from other languages. It follows other languages down dark alleys, knocks them over & goes through their pockets for loose grammar." ~ Seen on a t-shirt (source unknown)
@vandana7 (55363)
• India
31 May 11
Maggiepie.. this is so logical. But why didnt they use it as ... smell a rotting fish somewhere.. you know, why fishy.
@bingskee (5238)
• Philippines
29 May 11
ha ha ha you are funny, v! well, i guess fishy is an idiom that connotes something is not good or is under suspicion. i think it was chosen not because of the fish's taste but its smell when it gets rotten or is stale. it is the same thing when something evil or bad is being hidden, it smells, too.
@vandana7 (55363)
• India
29 May 11
If fish is delicious then how can it be bad.
1 person likes this
@Hatley (152484)
• Garden Grove, California
29 May 11
vandy freshly caught ocean fish has no odor at all , just smeels like salt water its the spoiling scent that makes people think it has an odor. fish does not keep well for long so shuld be cooked soon after catchiong it.it is delicous ehen fresh and not so delicous when boght in most groery stores. the longer it takes to get the fish from where it was caught to where the shopper buys it the more it starts to actually spoil and then emit that yucky odor.WE never bought fish from a supermarket as a drive of five miles to fishermans dory at newport beach could get us freshly caught fish that had no noxious odor just the odor of salt water. much tastier and much safer to eat too.
@vandana7 (55363)
• India
30 May 11
Wonder why fish releases ammonia after dying. If they did it before, humans wouldnt be eating them. God went wrong in their defense mechanism.
@cream97 (29175)
• United States
29 May 11
Hi. vandana7. I think it is called fishy because of the fishy smell that radiates from the fish. That is my only analysis of why fish is said to to be fishy. Fishy can be peculiar and strange. That is why fish is connected to the bad smell of fish.
@vandana7 (55363)
• India
29 May 11
But everybody knows and can identify fish's smell!!! Why then is it associated with words such as "strange", "untrue", .. and even "peculiar"?
1 person likes this
@Hatley (152484)
• Garden Grove, California
29 May 11
hi cream and vandy because fresh fish does not stink like the not so fresh fish thats sold in our supermarket, when a fish starts emitting an an odor its truly beginning to spoil so most Americans consider that the natural odor of fish. down at fisherman's Dorry in Newport beach California we can buy fish caught two hours before we walk into the open market and they have no odor at all. spoiled fish stink like ammonia fumes.So to me that does equate with odd, bad, rotten, not true.
@vandana7 (55363)
• India
30 May 11
Ok..that makes a lot of sense. So the word fishy itself means ammonia smell I suppose..
@ElicBxn (59948)
• United States
2 Jun 11
When fish is fresh, it shouldn't have that "fishy" taste, tho some fish are "fishier" than others. When things are "fishy" that means they are no longer "right". So, when a fish is "fishy" it often means it is no longer fresh and therefor no longer safe to eat. And it means when something "smells fishy" or "seems fishy" or "looks fishy" it means that there is something wrong about it and it probably isn't safe. And English has a terrible habit in its slang of saying one thing and meaning the exact opposite. So, "fat chance" and "slim chance" do mean the same thing. I once had a shirt that this gal just LOVED and she told me "That shirt is so BAD I just want to rip it off you and wear it!" I knew she really liked it!
@vandana7 (55363)
• India
3 Jun 11
In defense of poor helpless fish...you did use the words "no longer". So something that was once ok, and is no longer ok..that is how it should be used, isn't it? You all grow up with the language, and so may be you all dont question it. As an outsider, it does seem strange to be associating fish with something that is not safe.. I have come across that type of humor here, and am trying to enjoy it as well. There is no loss, is there?
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (59948)
• United States
3 Jun 11
No... the "fishy" smell is the smell of a fish beginning to spoil, still smells like fish, but not fresh fish. So what something seeming to be "fishy" means that it looks all right, but there seems to be something wrong - too good to be true - like all these "Nigerian" scams...
1 person likes this
@murkie (1105)
• Philippines
29 May 11
according to an indiatimes page (hey, i'm not from india): the term "fishy" is thought to have arisen from the notion "as slippery as a fish". or as allusion to meat with a "fishy" taste, meaning the meat is bad. a simpler explanation is that old fish (not good to eat) smells fishy with bad odour... i eat fish. and i eat meat too. oh, and vegetables as well. =)
@vandana7 (55363)
• India
29 May 11
For starters, welcome to myLot. Your username is amusing enough. Coming to the discussion, I am ok with alluding it to "slippery", but alluding it to "bad" or "suspicious" doesn't make sense to me, because many people love fish, and a fish is bad only when it becomes old. Why dont they then say "Something here seems as bad as old fish" or something. Me strictly vegetarian. That is why vegetable prices are high. Why cant you non-veg eaters leave our vegetarian food alone.
@murkie (1105)
• Philippines
30 May 11
hey, i eat veggies too.. growing your own veggies would help.. =) and for that "fishy" origin, ask indiatimes. that's where i came across the origin. probably they're in your neighborhood. oh, and thanks for the welcome. =D
@dawnald (84124)
• Shingle Springs, California
31 May 11
Because when it starts getting a little ripe, it smells bad... But I'm sure you have your funny expressions too.
@vandana7 (55363)
• India
1 Jun 11
We do ..but not this fishy.
@bounce58 (17550)
• Canada
29 May 11
I agree that it's a bit unfair to fish, that they be associated with something negative. Specially considering how good they are supposed to be for health. But I guess if something like that stinks as much when left exposed, they become so memorable that it's the first thing people remember when something reeks of stench when it's exposed. Yes, English words can sometimes be funny.
@vandana7 (55363)
• India
30 May 11
Yeah I feel like fish's attorney, suing the Webster and all his clout for defaming the poor fish, and well, you could be a member of jury you know..