Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Ditch the fish and try the fry

Ok, nonsense headline, I know. We'll just ignore it and continue with the rest of this post, ok?

So I was reading a book today and came across the phrase "other fish to fry". It's a perfectly common expression and obviously I've not only come across it but - drumroll - I even know what it means. Mensa level brain, of course. Until today the phrase has been ordinary enough that I've not felt the urge to write about coming across it. But today... today was different. Today, right after I read the phrase, a random thought rocked up to my hitherto quiescent brain in relation to the fish that were apparently lined up to be fried. And it was good. The thought was this: the phrase "other fish to fry" is all very well for pescatarians in particular and non-vegetarians in general... but not really suitable for vegetarians and vegans, is it? So many things nowadays are geared to cater to the latter two categories, but it would seem that the language of idiom has not really moved with the times. 

Any, as they say, hoo - a second thought then occurred in quick succession to the first one, and it was also good. The thought was this: how about coming up with alternatives to the fishy frase - er - phrase? That way there would be food-related idiomatic expressions suitable for use by vegetarians and vegans when they want to imply (or state outright) that they have other important things to do (than the original thing they tried to do but embarrassingly failed at). 

Here goes, then:

- "other vegetables to boil"

- "other varieties of rice to cook"

- "other (eggless) cakes to bake"

- "other meat-substitute proteins to fry"

Do feel free to add your suggestions too - they will all go into the idiomatic pot and enrich the language stew. 

PS. Yet another thought has just occurred to me (yay! Hat-trick!) - we should root out other such non-veg expressions and make suitable vegetarian alterations. No, I can't provide an example. I've exceeded my quota of thoughts for the day. 


Ravi said...

"give cold rasam" (instead of 'shoulder')
:P :P

Anu said...

... and what about "non-veg" jokes??

Shammi said...

Cold rasam? Arrgh! That's taking it too far! :)

Non-veg jokes can't be substituted for anything else! :) Consumer beware!