I know that for meat, it's "gamy"/"gamey". What about for fish?

I'm looking for an adjective other than "fishy" as it causes repetition. One sounds silly saying "this fish is very fishy".

Also, I am not talking about rotten fish, but about fish that's perfectly fit for consumption, but naturally has a strong taste and/or smell.

  • 6
    Nevertheless, fishy is the word. You can avoid repetition by naming the fish: “This salmon is very fishy.” – Jim Apr 14 '18 at 16:34
  • 2
    gamey is only for game, not just any meat. Usually, a fish smell is not such a great thing. When cooked, fish shouldn't smell, and if it smells, you want to avoid consuming it. Please note: adding ey or y to a word means LIKE the thing. I live near a fish restaurant and sometimes the odor extractors push out the odor of fish that is being fried or grilled. I would say: the odor of fish cooking. – Lambie Apr 14 '18 at 17:03
  • 1
    Agree ... fishy is best – lbf Apr 14 '18 at 18:06
  • 1
    '... has a strong taste / smell'. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 14 '18 at 19:02
  • "aroma" is another word if you want to try to spin it as good smell "this fish has a hearty aroma" ? Is there a word for food specifically like bouquet is for wine ? – Tom22 Apr 14 '18 at 22:55

Synonyms for fishy are fishlike and piscine. (In the sense that you mean it anyway—fishy can also refer to something suspicious.) But, typically, those synonyms don't have as direct a connotation as fishy when it comes to taste or smell.

However: "Interesting. This vegetable has an unexpectedly piscine flavour."

As was suggested in a comment, you can change the noun from fish to the specific type of fish: salmon, trout, pickerel, etc. Although the more common use of fishy as an adjective is to denote something bad rather than good—so, I don't think that repetition is really the problem when you're talking about good qualities of fish.

You could specify a particular quality of fishy in a given context, or point out that a fish embodies a healthy "fish quality" in general.

This fish tastes salty.
This fish smells like the sea.
This is a well-cooked fish.
This fish is delicious.
This fish is fresh.

As with some of my general examples, you can assume that people know what good fish tastes like. Then you can simply say (for instance), "This fish has a strong flavour." (A version of which you already said when you asked this question.)

  • 1
    I don't know -- smells fishy to me. – Hot Licks Apr 14 '18 at 18:21
  • Never heard of that word in English. In French it means swimming pool. So if I were to hear your statement I’d expect it to mean “This vegetable tastes, unexpectedly, like a swimming pool” – Jim Apr 14 '18 at 22:50

Just looking around at how fresh fish flavor is described online, I come up with "full-flavored" for the stronger fish. "Mild-flavored" is on the other end of the spectrum. Hope that might be of some help.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.