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Have Bigger Fish to Fry | Definition, Origin & Useful Examples

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Have bigger fish to fry! Have you ever heard about this interesting idiom? The following lesson introduces the definition, origin, useful example sentences and different ways to say in English.

Have Bigger Fish to Fry

Have Bigger Fish to Fry

Have Bigger Fish to Fry Meaning

The common idiom “have bigger fish to fry” means to have more important things or more interesting things to do or give your attention to.


The expression is attested from the year 1660 in the work titled Memoirs written by John Evelyn.

Example Sentences

  • He’s not interested in reviewing small provincial exhibitions like this one; he’s got much bigger fish to fry.
  • Considering the risks of telomere – extension therapy, he thinks that scientists have bigger fish to fry.
  • It’s really not worth my time. I’ve got bigger fish to fry!
  • I want Tom to help me with this project, but he claims he has bigger fish to fry right now.
  • So you aren’t coming out with us tonight? I suppose you’ve got other fish to fry.
  • I can’t spend a lot of time on the problem. I have bigger fish to fry.
  • I can’t deal with this now – I’ve got bigger fish to fry.

Other Ways To Say

  • I’ve got better things to do
  • Best thing you can do
  • I already made plans
  • More important things to do
  • I already have some prior commitments
  • Other matters to attend to
  • I’ve got bigger problems
  • Top priority to do
  • Bigger issues to do
  • Better places to be