One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small blunt-nosed freshwater fish related to the sleepers.
Genus Gobiomorphus, family Gobiidae (or Eleotridae)
- ‘Fish such as giant kokopu and smelt sometimes turn up in nets along with the young of other fish including eels, trout and cockabullies.’
- ‘Every now and then we would slip away to fish for sprats and cockabullies.’
- ‘It was like looking down at a rock pool: the cockabullies squirting away from under a rock, the crabs, the minuscule life.’
- ‘Other fish - cockabullies and an occasional eel - are returned to the river.’
- ‘He has been a fisherman for as long as he can remember, starting with eels and cockabullies to the current day, where anything that swims is in potential danger.’
Late 19th century: from Maori kokopu.
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