One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A swimming marine mollusc that resembles a broad-bodied squid, having eight arms and two long tentacles that are used for grabbing prey. Its internal skeleton is the familiar cuttlebone, which it uses for adjusting buoyancy.
- ‘Both cuttlefish and squid may be called inkfish.’
- ‘The whale's prey includes squid, cuttlefish, herring, and sea stars, or starfish.’
- ‘Ammonoids are descendants of the extinct, primitive coiled nautiloids and they are extinct relatives of modern squid, octopus, cuttlefish, and nautilus.’
- ‘Her current experiments on learning suggest that both cephalopods do well with spatial learning; cuttlefishes seem to learn their way around a maze with the same facility as octopuses.’
- ‘Nautilus shells are often used decoratively, and the internal shell of a cuttlefish, or cuttle bone, is sold in the pet trade as a calcium source for birds.’
Late 16th century: from cuttle + fish.
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