One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Any of various marine fishes which are said to resemble the rabbit in some way.
2The burbot, Lota lota, which burrows into riverbanks.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in John Smith (bap. 1580, d. 1631), soldier and colonial governor. From coney + fish. For likely motivations for the name as applied to different fishes, see quots. 1656 at sense 1, 1880 at –4 sense 2.
coney fish/ˈkəʊni fɪʃ/
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