May 03, 2016
- halibut (noun)
- What does it mean?
- : any of several marine flatfishes (especially Hippoglossus hippoglossus of the Atlantic and H. stenolepis of the Pacific) that are widely used for food and include some of the largest bony fishes
- How do you use it?
- The catch of the day at the seafood restaurant was halibut, but other flatfish such as flounder, sole, and turbot were also on the menu.
- Are you a word wiz?
People started using the name "halibut" in the 14th century. From what do you think the fish got its name?If you picked C, good catch! Halibut is a flatfish, a group of fish that have flattened bodies with both eyes on the upper side of the head. In the English spoken in the Middle Ages, the word for flatfish was "butte." Back then, the largest flatfish were commonly eaten on holy days in place of meat. This particular fish came to be called "halybutte" in Middle English. It literally meant "holy flatfish," from "haly," a form of "holy," and "butte." In Modern English, the spelling has changed to "halibut."