Bigger Fish to Fry
Bigger fish to fry is an idiomatic expression used by people to express that they have better things to occupy themselves with.
The first documented case of “bigger fish to fry” emerged in English in the 1660 Memoirs of John Evelyn.
Not long after its publication, the phase appeared in Peter Motteux’s translation of Cervantes’ “Don Quixote” around 1700.
Spread and Usage
Over the centuries, the expression became a popular way of signaling that one has better things to do than the proposed activity.
The phrase would show up in various literary contexts over the years, with its use growing rapidly following the 1950’s.
The first entry about “bigger fish to fry” had appeared on Urban Dictionary in 2012.
- 7esl.com – Bigger Fish To Fry: What Does this Interesting Idiom Mean?
- Thefreedictionary.com – Have bigger fish to fry