neither fish, flesh, nor good red herring

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Unsuitable for anyone or anything; unfit for any purpose.

Etymology:

  • The three foods are metonyms for those things suitable to each of medieval society’s classes of people; fish represents the clergy, flesh represents commoners, whilst red herring represents paupers; the three classes are simplistically regarded as exhaustive.
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Submitted on July 07, 2010

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"neither fish, flesh, nor good red herring." Phrases.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 18 Oct. 2019. <https://www.phrases.com/phrase/neither-fish,-flesh,-nor-good-red-herring_13798>.

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