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]
Foxy, Catty, Fishy: Are These Traits For Animals Or Humans?Catty It seems horribly unfair to adorable cats that catty is a human descriptor meaning “devious or spiteful” (and usually in reference to female behavior). What gives? The word cat has been around since the year 700. But then, in the Middle Ages, cat became one of the many offensive terms against women and was slang for “prostitute.” The association might have been made because …
What Does “Musty” Literally Smell Like?The common cholesterol drug Lipitor was recently subject to a recall due to reports from consumers about a “musty” odor associated with the bottles. We aren’t interested in the drug — this post concerns stink, stench, aroma. Smell may be the hardest sense to describe in words, which is why we are eager to take a whiff. The sense of smell is known as olfaction …
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.