Words related to fish


Proto-Indo-European root meaning "a fish."

It forms all or part of: fish; fishnet; grampus; piscatory; Pisces; piscine; porpoise.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Latin piscis (source of Italian pesce, French poisson, Spanish pez, Welsh pysgodyn, Breton pesk); Old Irish iasc; Old English fisc, Old Norse fiskr, Gothic fisks.

shellfish (n.)

also shell-fish, "animal that lives in the water and has a shell," Old English scylfiscas (plural); see shell (n.) + fish (n.) in the old general sense of "aquatic animal."

starfish (n.)

also star-fish, 1530s, from star (n.) + fish (n.). Greek astēr also was "a starfish."

fishing (n.)

"the art or practice of trying to catch fish," c. 1300, fysschynge, verbal noun from fish (v.). Figurative use from 1540s. The Old English noun was fiscað.

[O]f all diversions which ingenuity ever devised for the relief of idleness, fishing is the worst qualified to amuse a man who is at once indolent and impatient. [Scott, "Waverly," 1814]

Fishing-boat is from 1732. Fishing rod (1550s) is older than fishing pole (1791). To "go fishing" is as old as Old English on fiscoð gan.

angel-fish (n.)

also angelfish, 1660s, from angel + fish (n.); so called for its wing-like pectoral fins.

blowfish (n.)

also blow-fish, 1862, American English, from blow (v.1) + fish (n.).

Then he described another odd product of the bay, that was known as the blow-fish, and had the power of inflating himself with air when taken out of the water. ["The Young Nimrods in North America," New York, 1881]
bone-fish (n.)

also bonefish, a name given to various fishes, 1734, from bone (n.) + fish (n.).

catfish (n.)

also cat-fish, name given to various types of fish, 1610s, originally probably in reference to the Atlantic wolf-fish, in reference to its ferocity, from cat (n.) + fish (n.).

The North American freshwater fish was so called by 1690s, probably for its "whiskers," or for the purring noise it is said to make when taken from the water. Greek had glanis, glaneos "catfish," in reference to the only European species (the Latin silurus, in English generally sheatfish), found north of the Alps, and the largest European fish other than the sturgeon. The name is based on glanos "hyena," the fish being "thus called because of its voracity and the sound it makes" [Beekes]. Compare dogfish. The ancients thought them sensitive to thunder and able to predict earthquakes and told of catching them of such size they had to be hauled ashore by oxen.

crayfish (n.)

"small, freshwater lobster," early 14c., crevis, from Old French crevice, escrevice "crayfish" (13c., Modern French écrevisse), probably from Frankish *krebitja or a similar Germanic word that is a diminutive form of the root of crab (n.1); compare Old High German krebiz "crab, shellfish," German Krebs. Modern spelling is established from 16c., a folk-etymology alteration under influence of fish (n.).

devil-fish (n.)

a term used of various large and uncanny marine animals, by 1814, from devil (n.) + fish (n.).