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 your next great read!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson

"Quirky and appealing characters, an engaging story, and honest dialogue make this a great book!"
- BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Holding Up the Universe
    Holding Up the Universe
    by Jennifer Niven
    Jennifer Niven's spectacular Holding Up the Universe has everything that I love about Young ...
  • Book Jacket: Coffin Road
    Coffin Road
    by Peter May
    From its richly atmospheric opening to its dramatic conclusion, Peter May's Coffin Road is a ...
  • Book Jacket: The Guineveres
    The Guineveres
    by Sarah Domet
    It's a human need to know one's own identity, to belong to someone, to yearn for a place ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Victoria
    by Daisy Goodwin

    Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit." - Amanda Foreman

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win All the Gallant Men

All The Gallant Men

The first memoir by a USS Arizona survivor, 75 years after Pearl Harbor.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

K Y Eyes P

and be entered to win..

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.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.