Why do we say "There are other fish in the sea.

Well-Known Expressions

There are other fish in the sea

Meaning:

Don't be upset about the one you've lost (girlfriend, boyfriend, job etc) - there are plenty others out there.

Background:

Sources say that this expression is first recorded around 1573 but usually don't note where. It appears that this 1573 reference is in a letter from English writer Gabriel Harvey to the poet Edmund Spenser, who may have once been Harvey's pupil. Correspondence between the two was collected into a volume in 1884: The Letter-Book of Gabriel Harvey.

Tis a written veritye,
Quote owlde Senior C.,
All prooves on whether you speede or misse,
In the mayne sea theres good stoare of fishe,
And in delicate gardens and in gourgeous bowers,
Theres allwayes greate varietye of desirable flowers

By the early 19th century the expression had taken on forms closer to those used today:


There never was a fish taken out of the sea, but left anothe as good behind. (Thomas Love Peacock in Headlong Hall, 1816)

Ye need not sigh sae deeply.... There are as gude fish in the sea as ever came out of it. (Sir Walter Scott in The Fortunes of Nigel, 1822)

Alphabetical list of expressions

Challenge yourself with BookBrowse Wordplays

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Before We Sleep
    Before We Sleep
    by Jeffrey Lent
    Katey Snow, aged seventeen, leaves home one night. "There was a void within her and one that could ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Hermit
    by Thomas Rydahl
    If you can be comfortable with Scandinavian noir played out against the sun-drenched backdrop of ...
  • Book Jacket: The Radium Girls
    The Radium Girls
    by Kate Moore
    In 1915, Austrian-born Sabin von Sochocky developed a luminescent paint that used radium to create a...

Win this book!
Win News of the World

News of the World

A brilliant work of historical fiction that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.

Enter

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Weight of Ink
    by Rachel Kadish

    An intellectual, suspenseful, and entertaining page-turner.
    Reader Reviews

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T's S I Numbers

and be entered to win..

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

A richly layered novel of hearts broken seemingly beyond repair and then bound by a stunning act of human devotion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.