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fishy Options
D00M
Posted: Sunday, October 01, 2017 6:49:13 AM

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Hello respected teachers,

Those fishy blue eyes held a look I never saw there before.

What does the author mean by 'fishy' in the above? Does it simply mean that his eyes resembled those of a fish?

I am looking forward to your answers.
Romany
Posted: Sunday, October 01, 2017 7:34:37 AM
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Yes, it does.
D00M
Posted: Sunday, October 01, 2017 7:41:03 AM

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Thanks very much.

Does 'there' refer to his face? Because the eyes are on the face (or in the face?).

I am looking forward to your answers.
Islami
Posted: Sunday, October 01, 2017 9:51:52 AM
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You can omit 'there' since eyes always are on the face of humans. IMO
Харбин Хэйлунцзян 1
Posted: Sunday, October 01, 2017 10:12:26 AM

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D00M wrote:
Does 'there' refer to his face?

No. I believe it's in those eyes.



აბა ყვავებს ვინ დაიჭერს, კარგო? გალიაში ბულბულები ზიან.
TMe
Posted: Sunday, October 01, 2017 10:22:36 AM

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Does it simply mean that his eyes resembled those of a fish?

Yes, it resembled the color-shade of the eyes of the fish having blue eyes.

I am a layman.
D00M
Posted: Sunday, October 01, 2017 10:44:19 AM

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Харбин Хэйлунцзян 1 wrote:
D00M wrote:
Does 'there' refer to his face?

No. I believe it's in those eyes.



Yes, thank you Харбин.

I am looking forward to your answers.
Romany
Posted: Sunday, October 01, 2017 1:46:03 PM
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The man has fish-like eyes. which is not, btw, a compliment and doesn't refer to the colour. It means they stare at the world blankly and are always moist and leaking; the lids are rather transparent.

So that's a given: the man has fishy eyes. And in those fishy eyes was a look 'he' had never seen there before.The purpose of "there" is to qualify that the expression was *in* those eyes, and was one that 'he' had never seen before.
leonAzul
Posted: Sunday, October 01, 2017 3:32:04 PM

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D00M wrote:
Hello respected teachers,

Those fishy blue eyes held a look I never saw there before.

What does the author mean by 'fishy' in the above? Does it simply mean that his eyes resembled those of a fish?


It could mean something more. In American slang, "fishy" means suspicious or dodgy. It refers not so much to the look but rather to the smell, like a fishmonger who keeps fish on ice for several days in order to hide the fact that they are not fresh.

"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
Romany
Posted: Monday, October 02, 2017 6:42:25 AM
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Leon -

I would have thought that the use of 'fishy' meaning 'dodgy' post-dates this book by decades though, surely?

The collocation "fishy eyes" is a common one in BE, ( doesn't say much for us Brits, that, does it?) and always means "like fish eyes" rather than 'dodgy eyes'/.
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Monday, October 02, 2017 6:47:01 AM

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Gríma Wormtongue got fishy eyes ;-)




In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
Харбин Хэйлунцзян 1
Posted: Monday, October 02, 2017 7:01:32 AM

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Romany wrote:
The collocation "fishy eyes" is a common one in BE, ( doesn't say much for us Brits, that, does it?) and always means "like fish eyes" rather than 'dodgy eyes'/.

Here's what TFD has on it:

https://www.thefreedictionary.com/fishy

Quote:
2. Cold or expressionless: a fishy stare.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

4. dull and lifeless: a fishy look.
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

We have a similar expression in Russian - рыбьи глаза - fishy eyes - and it has exactly this meaning - cold and lifeless.

აბა ყვავებს ვინ დაიჭერს, კარგო? გალიაში ბულბულები ზიან.
Romany
Posted: Monday, October 02, 2017 7:09:08 AM
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That's interesting, Xap. I've mentioned before that my son only teaches Russian students - and he's found through them, that there are a lot of expressions that our two languages have in common and which can be directly translated to either language.Historically (I'm referring to Language history) I find this fascinating.
leonAzul
Posted: Monday, October 02, 2017 10:53:54 AM

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Romany wrote:

Leon -

I would have thought that the use of 'fishy' meaning 'dodgy' post-dates this book by decades though, surely?


Quote:

fishy (adj.)
late 15c., "fish-like, slimy," from fish (n.) + -y (2). In reference to taste, from 1540s. Sense of "shady, questionable" is first recorded 1840, perhaps from the notion of "slipperiness," or of giving off a bad odor.


http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=fishy

"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
Romany
Posted: Monday, October 02, 2017 1:24:55 PM
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Leon - well I did see the ety-online and Wiki citations. (Though, as you may recall, I don't rely on any Wikis for info.)

However, the earliest dictionary citation I actually found was 1913; in Websters.

The word "fishy" was used in the 15thC for sure...but it was a)a transcription of a dialect word - something like "fishe" and b) a sort of diminutive - "fish" being mature and "fishys" being juveniles i.e. those to be thrown back as too young.

Or so I had thought. Because 15thC takes us back into Middle English; and such an adjectival construction would have been anomalous then.The 16thC reference is not so remarkable: we're into Early Modern there

So, do you find those citations in line with your knowledge; or as the answer?

(Explanation for the fact that I really am not just idly picking on a bone to be contentious about: I am genuinely engaged.Dancing )
leonAzul
Posted: Monday, October 02, 2017 11:07:05 PM

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Romany wrote:

Leon - well I did see the ety-online and Wiki citations. (Though, as you may recall, I don't rely on any Wikis for info.)

However, the earliest dictionary citation I actually found was 1913; in Websters.

The word "fishy" was used in the 15thC for sure...but it was a)a transcription of a dialect word - something like "fishe" and b) a sort of diminutive - "fish" being mature and "fishys" being juveniles i.e. those to be thrown back as too young.

Or so I had thought. Because 15thC takes us back into Middle English; and such an adjectival construction would have been anomalous then.The 16thC reference is not so remarkable: we're into Early Modern there

So, do you find those citations in line with your knowledge; or as the answer?

(Explanation for the fact that I really am not just idly picking on a bone to be contentious about: I am genuinely engaged.Dancing )


As I suggested, my reply does not negate the straightforward interpretation of "fishy" as a look in the eye like a dead fish, but rather that because the narrator sees something new in those eyes, perhaps a bit of tergiversation is involved. In other words, the author may have artfully included both ideas in one "swell foop!"
Think


"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
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