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Idioms about the Sea


  1. a big fish - an important or influential person
  2. a big fish in a small pond - someone who is important within a small/limited field
  3. a drop in the ocean - a small amount compared to what is expected
  4. a loan shark - a moneylender who charges very high interest rates
  5. a whale of a time - a very enjoyable time
  6. all’s fish that comes to net - you should take advantage of all that comes your way
  7. another kettle of fish - an entirely different thing
  8. any port in a storm - any source of relief or escape in an unfavourable situation
  9. fishy - suspicious
  10. in the doldrums - low-spirited, depressed
  11. like a fish out of water - in an uncomfortable/awkward situation
  12. like shooting fish in a barrel - very easy
  13. neither fish nor fowl - something that is difficult to classify
  14. packed like sardines - crowded
  15. plain sailing - smooth and easy progress
  16. plenty more fish in the sea - there are many other (and possibly more compatible) people in the world
  17. red herring - an intentionally misleading clue or piece of information
  18. the coast is clear - there’s no risk of getting caught
  19. the world is your oyster - you should take advantage of all the opportunities life has to offer you
  20. tip of the iceberg - the small visible part of a much larger and hidden problem
  21. to drink like a fish - to drink a lot of alcohol
  22. to have other/bigger fish to fry - to have other/more important matters to attend to
  23. to keep something at bay - to keep something from happening
  24. to make waves - to create an impression
  25. to rock the boat - to disrupt an existing situation with the intention of causing problems
  26. to run a tight ship - to be very strict about managing something
  27. to stem the tide - to prevent something bad from getting worse
  28. to tide someone over - to help someone get through a difficult time (usually financially)
  29. to turn to tide - to reverse the fashion

If you’ve found this post useful, why not check out our other articles on idioms?

Have a great week!


11 Jul 2016
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