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- Frequently Misspelled Words
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- Writing & Language
The French have a remarkable locution respecting fish as a food:
Aprés poisson, lait est poison; Aprés poisson, le vin est bon; Aprés poisson, noix est contre-poison.
The reason why fish are employed as card-counters is from a misapprehension of the French word fiche (a five-sou piece). The two points allowed for the “rub” are called in French la fiche de consolation. The Spanish word pez has also a double meaning—a “winning,” or a “fish;” pez is the Welsh pysg, Latin pisc', English fish.
“Al is fishe that cometh to the net.” —G. Gascoigne: The Steele Glas (died 1577).
He eats no fish; he is not a papist; he is an honest man, and one to be trusted. In the reign of Elizabeth papists were opposed to the Government, and Protestants, to show their loyalty, refused to eat fish on Fridays to show they were not papists.
“I do profess ... to serve him truly and to eat no fish.” —
It is neither fish, flesh, nor fowl, or Neither fish, flesh, nor good red herring. Not fish (food for the monk), not flesh (food for the people generally), nor yet red herring (food for paupers). Suitable to no class of people, fit for neither one thing nor another.
Fish comes first because in the Middle Ages the clergy took precedence of the laity.
“She would be a betwixt-and-between ... neither fish nor fowl.”
—Mrs. Lynn Linton.
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