smell something fishy

smell something fishy


  • to have a suspicion that something is wrong
  • to have a feeling that someone is being dishonest or hiding the truth on purpose
  • to suspect a wrongdoing

Example Sentences

  1. The manager smelled something fishy and started an investigation. He eventually found that 3 of the 4 employees were stealing from the store.
  2. I smell something fishy about this deal that you want to get into.
  3. My mother could always smell that there was something fishy when either of us would be up to a mischief.
  4. The teacher was preoccupied today and did not smell anything fishy in class today. If she would have then she would have uncovered what the students were planning.
  5. My children gave me a full account of what happened and I could not stop smelling something fishy They are never really this chatty around me.
  6. It was the fact that all the clauses in the contract were as per my terms that made me smell something fishy


The phrase originates in the early 1800’s when at a fish market, you would know that is fish is fresh if it did not stink. If the fish had a foul odour then it meant that the fishmonger was being dishonest because only stale fish had an odour. The phrase has stuck on and is popularly used in regular parlance.

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It is very helpful

- Aashish February 27, 2018

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Idiom of the Day

drastic times call for drastic measures

Meaning: extreme circumstances can only be resolved by equally extreme actions

Example: After the company had posted losses for the third consecutive year, the board decided to replace all of its top management. After all, drastic times call for drastic measures. Read on


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