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Clichs, used in the English language, are incredibly descriptive ways to convey a meaning without fully explaining yourself. A fish out of water is used to describe something/someone who is very out of place or unsuited to the situation.

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Introduction

Clich�s, used in the English language, are incredibly descriptive ways to convey a meaning without fully explaining yourself. "A fish out of water" is used to describe something/someone who is very out of place or unsuited to the situation. This expression, however useful, is quite old. Chaucer used a version of the clich� in The Tales of Canterbury: Prologue. He compared a monk when cloisterless or with out a quiet place to pray, "is like to a fish that is waterless". The earliest reference to the modern day wording of the clich� is in Samuel Purchas's Pilgrimage, dating back to 1613. The expression was created with the idea that a fish cannot survive for a long time on dry land, just like people cannot "survive" under awkward situations. ...read more.

Middle

When the woman arrived wearing a silk ball gown, she would be "a fish out of water" because of how much she stood out from the majority of the people there. The phrase, used correctly, would point out how awkward the woman looked and felt at the party. The proverb doesn't always have to be used to describe when someone looks out of place. It can also be used to describe how someone is feeling. Suppose there was a man from the city who has no experience with nature and decides to go on a camping trip with his girlfriend and some friends. They have a lot of fun hiking and hanging out and he thought that the rest of the weekend would be just as much fun. ...read more.

Conclusion

There are many other ways to express the phrase "like a fish out of water". These ways include being a misfit or out of place. Each of these words could easily be substituted in place of "fish out of water". Instead of saying the rich woman, from the second paragraph, looked like a "fish out of water" at the party, you could say that she looked out of place. Also, in the paragraph above about the man who couldn't set up his tent like his friends, could say he felt like a misfit instead of "a fish out of water". This classic clich� that has been around for centuries, is perfect for describing many awkward situations. "Like a fish out of water" has become a classic phrase in the English language that will hopefully be used for many more centuries to come. ...read more.

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