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Reason for the phrase "frying tonight"

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Sweet G | 14:03 Wed 05th Dec 2007 | Phrases & Sayings
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I watched Carry on Screaming last night where KW utters the famous line. I remember the phrase used to be seen in fish&chip shops years ago but I never really understood why. I used to think that of course a shop would be "frying tonight" otherwise they wouldnt be making fish&chips; like as if M&S had a sign saying "retailing today". Why not just be Open. Was there a particular reason that the phrase "frying tonight " was used or was important? Thanks

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It could hark back to the days when fish shops sold wet fish throughout the week, and on certain days only would sell hot cooked food - fish and chips.

Or during the war when there was a shortage of everything - if the chip shop had the raw materials they would put a sign up, 'frying tonight!'
When I was a kid (many years ago!) the wet fish shop down the road from us only 'fried' on 2 or 3 days a week. I think they just put the sign out so you could think ' Won't bother cooking tonight, we'll have fish and chips'; just as a sort of reminder as Ethel says. As an aside, apart from supermarket counters, are there any wet fish shops left? I can't remember the last time I saw one.
Wet fish shops do still exist, as do market stalls selling wet fish. The shops are a rarity though. There's one (possibly two) in the small seaside town of Frinton-on-Sea, Essex.That's because Frinton was the seaside resort for wealthy people and many retired there. They have suitably old-fashioned tastes and demands and the resort also boasts several old-style greengrocers and sweet shops that sell sweets from giant jars and chocolates by weighing, not by the box. It may be that such places have survived only in the peculiar economic microclimate of towns like Frinton
I remember when Fish shops were closed on a monday, as there were no fridges to keep the fish in over the weekend. Owners had to go upto Billingsgate to pick up the fresh fish for the rest of the week.
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