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Fish are aquatic vertebrates that are typically cold blooded, covered with scales, and equipped with two sets of paired fins and several unpaired fins.
- No human being, however great, or powerful, was ever so free as a fish.
- John Ruskin (1871). Selections from the Writings of John Ruskin, p.336
- Incredible as it may sound, there is no such thing as a “fish.”
- Introduction, The Encyclopedia of Underwater Life, Oxford University Press (2005)
"'Some people like the oddest things.'"
- Zaphod and Trillian in Douglas Adams' novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
- Fishes light up the interior of the sea like fires.
- Piscem natare doces
- Translation: You're teaching a fish to swim.
- Anonymous Latin saying
- Down here all the fish is happy
As off through the waves they roll
The fish on the land ain't happy
They sad 'cause they in their bowl
But fish in the bowl is lucky
They in for a worser fate
One day when the boss get hungry
Guess who's gon' be on the plate?
- The Little Mermaid, "Under the Sea", lyrics by Howard Ashman
- I know the human being and the fish can coexist peacefully.
- George W. Bush, speech in Saginaw, Michigan (29 September 2000), referring to a widely reported dispute in the Klamath region of Oregon between farmers with irrigation rights and Native Americans with fishing rights.
- Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Give a man a sub-prime fish loan and you're in business, buddy.
- Stephen Colbert parody of the "Give a man a fish..." proverb alluding to the subprime mortgage crisis of the aughts on The Colbert Report (14 May 2008)
- It was always the biggest fish I caught that got away.
- Eugene Field, Our Biggest Fish, st. 2.
- Her father was a fisherman, with a beard that tasted of salt, and fingers that smelled like the sea.
- Arthur M. Jolly A Gulag Mouse, Act II, sc. i.
- It would hardly be fish who discovered the existence of water.
- Clyde Kluckhohn, Mirror for Man (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1949), p. 11.
- Fish and guests in three days are stale.
- John Lyly, Euphues (1579).
- You, sir, are a fish.
- Arthur Morgan, to a fish he has just caught, in the 2018 video game Red Dead Redemption 2.
- Only the gamefish swims upstream,
But the sensible fish swims down.
- Ogden Nash, When You Say That, Smile.
- I am, out of the ladies' company, like a fish out of water.
- Thomas Shadwell, A True Widow (1679), Act III, sc. i.
- Fish not, with this melancholy bait,
For this fool-gudgeon, this opinion.
- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice (c. 1596-98), Act I, scene 1.
- A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king, and eat of the fish that hath fed of that worm.
- William Shakespeare, Hamlet (c. 1600-02), Act IV, scene 3.
- Bait the hook well: this fish will bite.
- William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing (1598-99), Act II, scene 3.
- What have we here? a man or a fish? dead or alive? A fish: he smells like a fish; a very ancient and fish-like smell.
- William Shakespeare, The Tempest (c. 1610-1612), Act II, scene 2.
- They say fish should swim thrice * * * first it should swim in the sea (do you mind me?) then it should swim in butter, and at last, sirrah, it should swim in good claret.
- Jonathan Swift, Polite Conversation (c. 1738), Dialogue II.
- Alive without breath,
As cold as death;
Never thirsty, ever drinking,
All in mail never clinking
- The Hobbit Ch.5, written by J.R.R. Tolkien
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 273-74.
- Wha'll buy my caller herrin'?
The're no brought here without brave darin'
Buy my caller herrin', Ye little ken their worth.
Wha'll buy my caller herrin'?
O you may ca' them vulgar farin',
Wives and mithers maist despairin'
Ca' them lives o' men.
- Caller Herrin'. Old Scotch Song, credited to Lady Nairn. Claimed for Neil Gow, who probably only wrote the music.
- "Will you walk a little faster?" said a whiting to a snail,
"There's a porpoise close behind us, and he's treading on my tail!
See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advance:
They are waiting on the shingle—will you come and join the dance?"
- Lewis Carroll, song in Alice in Wonderland.
- Here when the labouring fish does at the foot arrive,
And finds that by his strength but vainly he doth strive;
His tail takes in his teeth, and bending like a bow,
That's to the compass drawn, aloft himself doth throw:
Then springing at his height, as doth a little wand,
That, bended end to end, and flerted from the hand,
Far off itself doth cast, so does the salmon vaut.
And if at first he fail, his second summersaut
He instantly assays and from his nimble ring,
Still yarking never leaves, until himself he fling
Above the streamful top of the surrounded heap.
- Michael Drayton, Poly-Olbion, Sixth Song, line 45.
- O scaly, slippery, wet, swift, staring wights,
What is 't ye do? what life lead? eh, dull goggles?
How do ye vary your vile days and nights?
How pass your Sundays? Are ye still but joggles
In ceaseless wash? Still nought but gapes and bites,
And drinks, and stares, diversified with boggles.
- Leigh Hunt, Sonnets, The Fish, the Man, and the Spirit.
- Fishes that tipple in the deepe,
Know no such liberty.
- Richard Lovelace, To Althea from Prison, Stanza 2.
- Cut off my head, and singular I am,
Cut off my tail, and plural I appear;
Although my middle's left, there's nothing there!
What is my head cut off? A sounding sea;
What is my tail cut off? A rushing river;
And in their mingling depths I fearless play,
Parent of sweetest sounds, yet mute forever.
- Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay, Enigma, On the Codfish.
- Ye monsters of the bubbling deep,
Your Maker's praises spout;
Up from the sands ye codlings peep,
And wag your tails about.
- Cotton Mather, Hymn.
- Our plenteous streams a various race supply,
The bright-eyed perch with fins of Tyrian dye,
The silver eel, in shining volumes roll'd,
The yellow carp, in scales bedropp'd with gold,
Swift trouts, diversified with crimson stains,
And pikes, the tyrants of the wat'ry plains.
- Alexander Pope, Windsor Forest, line 141.
- 'Tis true, no turbots dignify my boards,
But gudgeons, flounders, what my Thames affords.
- Alexander Pope, Second Book of Horace, Satire II, line 141.
- We have here other fish to fry.
- François Rabelais, Works, Book V, Chapter 12.
- It's no fish ye're buying—it's men's lives.
- Walter Scott, The Antiquary, Chapter XI.
- Master, I marvel how the fishes live in the sea.
Why, as men do a-land: the great ones eat up the little ones.
- William Shakespeare, Pericles, Prince of Tyre (c. 1607-08), Act II, scene 1, line 29.
- Blue, darkly, deeply, beautifully blue.
- Robert Southey, Madoc in Wales, Part V. (Referring to dolphins.) Byron erroneously quotes this as referring to the sky.
- All's fish they get that cometh to net.
- Thomas Tusser, Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry, February Abstract. Gascoigne, Steele Glas.
- Now at the close of this soft summer's day,
Inclined upon the river's flowery side,
I pause to see the sportive fishes play,
And cut with finny oars the sparkling tide.
- Valdarne, in Thomas Forster's Perennial Calendar.