mackerel

mackerel
mackerel (n.) edible fish, c.1300, from O.Fr. maquerel "mackerel" (Mod.Fr. maquereau), of unknown origin but apparently identical with O.Fr. maquerel "pimp, procurer, broker, agent, intermediary," a word from a Germanic source (Cf. M.Du. makelaer "broker," from O.Fris. mek "marriage," from maken "to make"). The connection is obscure, but medieval people had imaginative notions about the erotic habits of beasts. The fish approach the shore in shoals in summertime to spawn. Exclamation holy mackerel is attested from 1876.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Mackerel — Mack er*el, n. [OF. maquerel, F. maquereau (LL. macarellus), prob. for maclereau, fr. L. macula a spot, in allusion to the markings on the fish. See {Mail} armor.] (Zo[ o]l.) Any species of the genus {Scomber} of the family {Scombridae}, and of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mackerel — [mak′ər əl, mak′rəl] n. pl. mackerel or mackerels [ME makerel < OFr maquerel < ?] any of various scombroid fishes; esp., an edible fish (Scomber scombrus) of the North Atlantic, that has a greenish, blue striped back and a silvery belly …   English World dictionary

  • Mackerel — Mack er*el, n. [OF. maquerel, F. maquereau, fr. D. makelaar mediator, agent, fr. makelen to act as agent.] A pimp; also, a bawd. [Obs.] Halliwell. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mackerel — ► NOUN ▪ a fast swimming sea fish with a greenish blue back, important as a food fish. ORIGIN Old French maquerel …   English terms dictionary

  • Mackerel — For other uses, see Mackerel (disambiguation). Atlantic horse mackerel …   Wikipedia

  • mackerel — /mak euhr euhl, mak reuhl/, n., pl. (esp. collectively) mackerel, (esp. referring to two or more kinds or species) mackerels. 1. a food fish, Scomber scombrus, of the North Atlantic, having wavy cross markings on the back. 2. See Spanish mackerel …   Universalium

  • mackerel — [[t]mæ̱kərəl[/t]] N VAR (mackerel is both the singular and the plural form.) A mackerel is a sea fish with a dark, patterned back. Almiro s boat had sailed out to the middle of the bay to fish for mackerel. N UNCOUNT Mackerel is this fish eaten… …   English dictionary

  • mackerel — noun (plural mackerel or mackerels) Etymology: Middle English makerel, from Anglo French Date: 14th century 1. a scombroid fish (Scomber scombrus of the family Scombridae) of the North Atlantic that is green above with dark blue bars and silvery… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • mackerel — UK [ˈmækrəl] / US [ˈmæk(ə)rəl] noun Word forms mackerel : singular mackerel plural mackerel a) [countable] a sea fish with flesh that contains a lot of natural oil b) [uncountable] this fish eaten as food …   English dictionary

  • mackerel — /ˈmækərəl / (say makuhruhl) noun (plural mackerel or mackerels) 1. Also, slimy mackerel. a common iridescent greenish fish with irregular darker markings on the back, Scomber australasicus, widely distributed in Australian and New Zealand waters… …  

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