“Fishy” is an adjective, and you will know the word “fish”. Click here to review the article about fish.

A fish can smell fishy (a pescado), especially if it is not fresh. “Fishy” has another use. Examine these:

  • There is something fishy about Mr. Pujol.

This means that there is something that is not right, something is irregular or suspicious and does not “add up” (no tiene sentido). Perhaps you might say in Spanish “hay algo en Señor Pujol que resulta sospechoso”.

  • An account or explanation about something could be “fishy”. So, Mr. Trump´s explanations to the Senate sound “fishy”, that is, something is puzzling and unexplained, and perhaps it is a “cover up” (algo es ocultado).
  • There is something fishy going on in the Spanish government: something negative and irregular is happening.  “Hay un gato encerrado” may be similar.

 Some people are involved in a “fishy business” and a certain Spanish “Prime Minister” got a degree even though he copied text from another writer: fishy circumstances or a fishy business.

By a whisker

“Whisker” you may know. Cats have whiskers (bigotes), as do many animals. Cats use their whiskers to feel their way around. Some men have whiskers, that is, a mustache.

Here the focus is on idioms (modismos) that use “whisker”. Examine these:

  • Mr. Sanchez became Prime Minister “by a whisker” (por un pelo). Or you could say “by a cat’s whisker”. He got 167 votes in his favour and 165 against – a narrow margin, or by a whisker.
  • There is also the structure “within a whisker of”. An example: Mr. Sanchez came within a whisker of losing the vote (…faltó un pelo para que perdiera…).
  • The bullet (bala) missed the soldier by a whisker.