Posted by: Dutch | January 3, 2010

A fish out of water

Meaning

Someone in a situation they are unsuited to.

Origin

This metaphor is quite old. Chaucer used a version of it in The Canterbury Tales: Prologue:

…a monk, when he is cloisterless;

Is like to a fish that is waterless

The earliest reference that I can find to the present day wording of the phrase is in Samuel Purchas’s Pilgrimage, 1613:

“The Arabians out of the desarts are as Fishes out of the Water.”

– Special thanks to Gary Martin of The Phrase Finder

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: