One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A fish of the genus Acipenser or (more widely) the family Acipenseridae; a sturgeon. Also (in form Acipenser): the genus itself, to which most species of sturgeon belong.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in Richard Brathwait (?1588–1673), poet and writer. From classical Latin acipēnser name of a fish, probably the sturgeon, of uncertain origin, probably a compound, with a first element related to aciēs sharp edge, acus needle, perhaps on account of the sturgeon's long thin snout.
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