You all know what water creatures are right? If not, I’ll tell you…

​By water creatures, I’m talking about any animal that lives in the sea, lakes or rivers.​

fish expressions

A fish is a creature with fins, a tail and scales which lives and breathes under water.

FUN FACT – ‘To fish’ is also a regular verb, it means to catch fish for sport or to eat.

 

Here’s a list of idioms about fish.

  • a big fish in a small pond
    meaning – someone who is important in a small area
    example – Joe was a big fish in a small pond. When he went to uni, that all changed.
  • different kettle of fish
    meaning – something is different from the thing you have been talking about
    example – I said I’d spend an afternoon with him, a week is a different kettle of fish.
  • drink like a fish
    meaning – drink too much alcohol
    example – I think Tara has a problem; she drinks like a fish.
  • fish for compliments
    meaning – try and elicit compliments from someone
    example – Kirsty always fishes for compliments; she is so annoying.
  • have bigger fish to fry
    meaning – have more important/interesting things to do
    example – I can’t help you look for a new bike. I’ve got bigger fish to fry.
  • like a fish out of water
    meaning – feel uncomfortable in a certain situation
    example – I felt like a fish out of water at Oxford university, everyone was posh but I’m not.
  • packed in like sardines
    meaning – lots of people or objects close together with little room
    example – I went to a hen farm. It was horrible, all the chickens were packed in like sardines.
  • plenty more fish in the sea
    meaning – when a relationship fails, there are more people to have relationships with
    example – Everyone is telling me there’s plenty more fish in the sea, but I only want Hugh.
  • red herring
    meaning – a misleading clue
    example – There are so many red herrings in the film. You will never guess who the murderer is.
  • smell fishy
    meaning – seem suspicious
    example – The car I want to buy is way too cheap, something smells fishy.

fish expressions with pictures

Click on the pictures below to learn some common idioms and expressions about fish.

Each idiom includes the meaning and a real-life picture example.​

fish expressions and sayings
fish sayings - a big fish in a small pond
fish sayings - different kettle of fish
fish sayings - drink like a fish
fish expressions - fish for compliments
fish expressions - have bigger fish to fry
fish expressions - like a fish out of water
fish expressions - packed in like sardines
water creature idioms - plenty more fish in the sea meaning
fish idioms - red herring
fish idioms - smell fishy

water creature idioms

Let’s take a look at some idioms about sea animals.

  • as slippery as an eel
    meaning – cunning/devious and impossible to catch
    example – He robbed a number of businesses then disappeared. He’s as Slippery as an eel.
  • clam up
    meaning – suddenly become quiet and stop talking
    example – Whenever I ask him if he’s being bullied, he just clams up.
  • crocodile tears
    meaning – you cry but are not really upset or sorry
    example – I’m sick of Leela’s crocodile tears, she is only doing it for attention.
  • have a frog in one’s throat
    meaning – someone can’t speak as their mouth is dry and they need to cough
    example – The presentation went badly. He had a frog in his throat so couldn’t get the words out.
  • have a whale of a time
    meaning – have a really good time
    example – The kids had a whale of a time at the water park yesterday.
  • loan shark
    meaning – a person who lends money but charges extremely high interest rates
    example – Barry is in trouble, he borrowed £200 from a loan shark, and they want £500 back.
  • warm the cockles of one’s heart
    meaning – a warm and happy feeling
    example – I’ll tell you a story about a little girl and a homeless man. It’ll warm the cockles of your heart.

water creatures idioms with pictures

Click on the pictures below to learn some common idioms and expressions with different water creatures.

Each idiom includes the meaning and a real-life picture example.​

animal idioms - water creatures
eel idioms - as slippery as an eel
clam idioms and sayings - clam up
crocodile idioms and expressions - crocodile tears
frog sayings and phrases - have a frog in one's throat
whale sayings and phrases - have a whale of a time
shark expressions and sayings - loan shark
cockle idioms - warm the cockles of one’s heart

You can download a table of water creature idioms and expressions below.

If you’ve enjoyed this page, don’t forget to check out some more animal idioms by clicking on the links below.