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Be suspect or suspicious, as in His explanation definitely smells fishy; my guess is that he's lying. This idiom alludes to the fact that fresh fish have no odor but stale or rotten ones do. [Early 1800s]
THINGAMABOB OR THINGUMMY: CAN YOU DISTINGUISH BETWEEN THE US AND UK TERMS IN THIS QUIZ?
Do you know the difference between everyday US and UK terminology? Test yourself with this quiz on words that differ across the Atlantic.
Question 1 of 7
In the UK, COTTON CANDY is more commonly known as…
Words nearby smell fishy
smeech, smegma, smell, smell a rat, smeller, smell fishy, smellies, smelling bottle, smelling salts, smell test, smell to high heaven
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
How to use smell fishy in a sentence
But there are several other elements in the alleged plot that smell fishy.Assassination Plot Against Putin? Russians Are Skeptical.|Anna Nemtsova|February 27, 2012|DAILY BEAST
Say, Laurie, course your friends are all right, an' it's none o' my business; but they smell fishy to me a mile off.The Professor's Mystery|Wells Hastings