Fish & Chip Mob/Outfit - Origins

It's because fish & chips used to be ultra cheap. Any firm that's a bit shit or mickey mouse was known as a fish & chip outfit. Usually a phrase used by older people nowadays.


I'd always taken it as a run of the mill organisation. Does the job but nothing special.

Also tends to refer to the social standing of the unit. Tankies , fish and chips according to cav/HCR types.
Fish and chip wrappers = yesterday’s news. A rubbish, or low - ranking event.
I have only heard of the term through my love of cycling events. Many years ago, a criterium race might be described as a ‘fish and chipper’ ie enough to get yer tea.
So, a bit like the Rifles, then.

Diogenes' limp

Roots in the contrast between;

the lower orders, who consumed their fish and chips from the vinegar soaked newspaper in which they were wrapped;

The upper lower classes, foreman and the like, who would pop along to to the local chippie on the motor bike and sidecar but decant their 'tea' onto hefty utility china plates at home prior to consumption. Frequently accompanied by white, sliced, bread and butter;

And the middle classes who may occasionally purchase newspaper wrapped fish and chips on the way home from a weekend run out into the country in the car, but would always serve them on the dinner service in the dining room, once home.

Leaving aside the upper classes, who mainly caught their own.

The analogy was held to be true for Regiments.

My first cap badge was the Yorks & Lancs - a Regiment of good history and achievement in battle honours,
but undoubtedly a 'stout' fish and chip mob without pretension.

The last one I served alongside, was an 'elite' Regiment- effete was the description that comes to mind, if newspaper wrapped fish and chips had been the first fodder to break a six month siege famine, the officer's mess would have sent back any not delivered neatly wrapped in the most recent copy of the Times of London.

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