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90s Slang You Should Know

small fry

plural noun
a treat for the small fry.
unimportant persons or objects:
Her parties were closed to the small fry.
small or young fish.
Origin of small fry
First recorded in 1895-1900
Related forms
small-fry, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for small fry
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • After Berlioz, a small fry, indeed, yet not without interest.

    Ivory Apes and Peacocks James Huneker
  • Twelve captured, seven killed, and every one of them small fry.

    Rebels of the Red Planet Charles Louis Fontenay
  • I suppose that you small fry of diplomacy cannot get things in duty free, eh?

    A Day's Ride Charles James Lever
  • The small fry get drinks or jobs, or help in time of trouble.

    The Old World in the New Edward Alsworth Ross
  • A fresh wind off the land carried us slowly out of the creek through the small fry.

    A Floating Home Cyril Ionides
  • Debtors were too small fry to be often referred to in the chronicles of the times.

British Dictionary definitions for small fry

small fry

plural noun
people or things regarded as unimportant
young children
young or small fishes
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for small fry

small fry


: small-fry writers like me

noun phrase

  1. Children or a child • Often used as a term of address, either affectionate or derogatory
  2. An insignificant person or persons; nonentities: conveniences not enjoyed by the small fry overhead

[1866+; fr fry, ''small or immature fish'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with small fry

small fry

Young children, as in This show is not suitable for small fry.
Persons of little importance or influence, as in She wasn't about to invite the Washington small fry to the reception. Both usages allude to fry in the sense of “young or small fish.” [ Late 1800s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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