1) Swim up stream
A: How is the project going?
B: Slow. There is so much red tape to deal with.
A: That sounds frustrating.
B: I know. It’s like swimming up stream.
A: Well, don’t give up.
2) Got me by the gills
A: So how’s business going?
B: Not, good. I owe a lot in taxes.
A: Really how much?
B: Let;s just say a lot, and I have to pay.
A: Oh no! Sounds like they got you by the gills.
3) Let me off the hook
A: Did Bob pay you the money he owes you?
B: No, but he said he would pay me later.
A: He has the money. Don’t let him fool you.
B: I know. I need to be more firm with him.
A: You do! Don’t let him off the hook.
4) Have bigger fish to fry
A: Are you coming to the meeting?
B: I can’t. I have to finish this project.
A: But this meeting is important.
B: I know, but right now I have bigger fish to fry.
A: OK, suit yourself.
A: Did you see Sue today?
B: No, she called in sick.
A: Huh! I saw her having lunch with David Smith.
B: David Smith! our main competitor!
A: Yeah, something seems fishy!
swim up stream
When you swim up stream, you swim against the current so swimming is very difficult. This phrases means to do something that is difficult because of some kind of interference.
got me by the gills
After a fish is caught, fisherman pick it up by the gills, the open area by its mouth. This phrase means that someone has you trapped or won't let you do as you wish.
Let me off the hook
When fisherman catch a fish, they sometimes release it by removing the fish hook and setting the fish free in the water. When you let someone off the hook, you let them go free, or you do not hold them accountable for something
Have bigger fish to fry
When you have bigger fish to fry, you are worried about one particular situation, and do not have interest in other matters that other people are concerned about.
When something is fishy, that means it is strange or not right. You have a bad feeling that someone is hiding the truth about a situation, and you suspect something is wrong.
Five idioms about fish (Part B)
Five idioms about fish (Part A)
Five idioms about cats (Part B)
Five idioms about cats (Part A)
Six idioms about money (Part B)
Six idioms about money (Part A)