Middle English Dictionary Entry

fish n.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

1.
(a) Any animal that lives in the water (as distinct from 'beast' and 'bird'), such as a fish, a shellfish, a frog, a whale, a seal, a crocodile, a beaver, etc.; also fig.; (b) fish-kin, -kind, water animals; fishes bestiales, water animals other than fishes; sel-fish, seal; shel-fish, shellfish.
2.
(a) A fish (in the modern popular sense); scaled fish; (b) sg. as a generic or mass noun: fish; (c) fresh-water fish; se-fish, salt-water fish; stok-fish, merling ~, etc.
3.
(a) Fish as food; the flesh of fish as distinct from the flesh of 'beasts'; flesh and fish, meat and fish; (b) the flesh of fish as opposed to the bones.
4.
Sayings: a fish out of water, mute as a fish; fish-hol, -hal, hale and sound; etc.
5.
(a) fish bord, a counter for display of fish for sale; (b) ~ bot, fishing boat; (c) ~ bro, ~ broth, fish sauce or broth; (d) ~ dai, a religious fast day on which fish is eaten; (e) ~ fe, a manorial rent paid in lieu of supplying fish to the lord of the manor; (f) ~ flod, a river rich in fish; (g) ~ garth(in, a weir or enclosure in a river or pond for keeping fish or for aiding in the catching of fish; (h) ~ glewe, fish glue; (i) ~ hok, fish hook or fish spear; also as heraldic design [c1460 quot.]; (j) ~ hors, a horse for transporting fish; (k) ~ hous, a building for storing fish; (l) ~ knif; (m) ~ larder; (n) ~ lending, a fisherman's wharf; (o) ~ lep, fish basket; (p) ~ man; (q) ~ market; (r) ~ monger, fish seller; (s) ~ net; (t) ~ offiser, fish inspector; (u) ~ panier, fish basket; (v) ~ peni = ~ fe; (w) ~ pol, fish pond; (x) ~ pond; (y) ~ sellere; (z) ~ shamel(s), fish market; (aa) ~ silver = ~ fe; (bb) ~ slip, fisherman's wharf; (cc) ~ stret; (dd) ~ tail; (ee) ~ wer, an enclosure for keeping fish, a fish pond; (ff) ~ wharf; (gg) ~ wife, a woman who sells fish; (hh) ~ yard= ~ garth.
6.
As surname, and in compound place names and surnames.
7.
Astron. The constellation or sign of the zodiac known as the Fishes (L Pisces); the fish clepid Serus, ?the Southern Fish (L Piscis Australis);--sg.or pl.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

Note: The sense formerly numbered 5.(t), ~ offiser ('fish inspector') has been removed, on the grounds that the evidence is better interpreted as containing an error for 'siche' (such) rather than 'fish'.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • a1325 Add.46919 Cook.Recipes (Add 46919)49.32/6 : Ʒef hit is day of vische, do þerto peoren oþur chistenis oþur saumoun oþur luz oþur perche.
  • a1325 Add.46919 Cook.Recipes (Add 46919)48.25/1 : Vihs isodeen in win & water & saffron.
  • a1325 Add.46919 Cook.Recipes (Add 46919)48.26/1 : Brasee..þe vichs ispandled, & ystreyed wyþinnen þe vessel wiþ þe vische, quibibes, cloues; [etc.].
Note: Three new spellings = vihs, vichs, vische.
Note: Additional quots. and note--per REL