Phrases And Their Origins
Kettle Of Fish
"A whole new kettle of fish" or "a different kettle of fish".
This is an expression that is used when a remark is made that
relates to, or opens up, a new (and usually unrelated) issue.
But where the bollockybuggertwats did it come from?
Who on earth would keep fish in a kettle? And even if they
did, what has that got to do with anything?
There's a teapot of herring for the best answer.
"Kettle Of Fish" has a meteorlogical origin.
Do you remember in the days before computer graphics when the
BBC weather was presented on a fridge door and the weathermen
(they never had women doing it in those days) would stick on
magnetic pictures of clouds and sun and snow and the likes?
Well, I had the good fortune to meet the man who used to make
those stickers. He works on internet weather now and we had
him in to calibrate the pooclub weather stations when we were
installing them in our outlying regions. One day, after work
we went down the pub and had a few beers together and chatted
about the old times. He got very nostalgic about weather and
began to complain how internet weather isn't as good as the
old magnetic sticker weather.
He went on to reminisce about the days when he designed and
produced the weather stickers for John Kettley and Michael
Fish. He used to have a good relationship with the two
young weathermen (have you seen how old Michael Fish looks
these days?) and would always ensure that they had enough of
each type of weather symbol for whatever weather would hit
the British Isles. He made sure that the symbols were good
and clean, still have plenty of magnetic "stick" to them and
weren't beginning to curl up at the edges.
The stickers were kept in a cardboard box marked "Kettley
And Fish" and this is where their relationship began to go
sour. You see, other staff in the weather department would
see the box and began to refer to the stickers as Kettley
And Fish. Now, our stickerman was a proud man and he
resented the fact that his stickers, his invention, were
being branded with a name other than his. He turned from
being a kind, caring man to a bitter and frustrated man as
all his attempts to get people to change their names for
his stickers failed.
So, one day he thought enough was enough. He was out for
vengeance and so he created one new special sticker which
was in the shape of a large ejaculating phallus. He slipped
it into the box of stickers in the hope that one day either
John or Michael would inadvertently slap the new sticker on
the weather chart (preferably over Wales).
Unfortunately, his mischievous plan failed when one of the
makeup girls decided to take a look in the box to see if any
of the stickers need a buffing up. She saw the pud sticker
and fell about laughing. Naturally, she could not keep this
revelation to herself and so she held the sticker up for the
rest of the office to see and remarked, "Hey, this is a whole
new Kettley and Fish!"
Since that day, whenever a new issue was brought up, this
expression was used, though with the passage of time it has
now been slightly corrupted.
Phrases And Their Origins
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