Last updated at 13:01 GMT, Thursday, 28 February 2013

A fish out of water

Makati City's Caracol Festival, the Philippines

The annual Caracol festival in Makati in the Philippines is held as a tribute to Mother Nature. Photo: Romeo Ranoco/Reuters

Today's Phrase

When someone is described as 'a fish out of water' it means they are not comfortable in a particular situation.

Examples:

After working in a small company most of my life, I was a fish out of water in a big corporation.

Mary used to play the guitar to entertain the neighbours but she was a fish out of water in a professional band.

Take note

If you 'fish for compliments', you try to make someone praise you, often by criticising yourself.

Example:

Mary – I'm such a bad cook!
Joan – No, don’t be silly. You cooked a lovely dinner for us last night.
Jack – Don't pay any attention to her, Joan, she is just fishing for compliments.

Interesting fact

'Caracol' means snail in Spanish. The city of Makati in the Philippines views the snail's shell as a symbol of protection from the harshness of life and has adapted the idea for its annual Caracol festival, which was added to the Department of Tourism's calendar in 1989. Hundreds of students and residents dressed in colourful, nature-inspired costumes dance in the street to celebrate nature and to highlight the importance of protecting the environment.

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