Definition of Dolly Varden in English:

Dolly Varden


  • 1A large hat with one side drooping and with a floral trimming, formerly worn by women.

    • ‘Doubtless also they deck out their mothers and wives and sisters in serge gowns and Dolly Varden hats.’
    • ‘The bridesmaids wore full picture dresses of pale green organza with silver stripe, Dolly Varden hats in organdie to match and they carried bouquets of white roses and lilies of the valley.’
    • ‘She had on a green Dolly Varden hat with a crimson plume.’
  • 2A brightly spotted edible charr (fish) occurring in fresh water on both sides of the North Pacific.

    Salvelinus malma, family Salmonidae

    • ‘We caught tons of salmon, some Dolly Vardens, and even a rogue Steelhead (which we threw back).’
    • ‘For the first three to four years, small Dolly Vardens remain in their native streams.’
    • ‘In 1980, scientists discovered that bull trout and Dolly Vardens are slightly different species.’
    • ‘Young Dolly Vardens rear in streams before beginning their first migration to sea.’
    • ‘The Dolly Varden is found in the fresh and salt waters of North America and eastern Asia.’
    • ‘Fishing is also very good with record-sized Dolly Vardens being caught continuously.’
    • ‘As the salmon begin to leave, or spawn and die, the rainbows, Dolly Vardens and grayling reap a harvest of salmon eggs and bits of flesh.’
    • ‘The Kenai and Russian Rivers are noted salmon runs but are fished for the hearty rainbow trout and Dolly Vardens that feed upon the salmon's eggs.’
    • ‘However, southern Dolly Varden originating from nonlake systems must seek a lake in which to winter.’
    • ‘Freshwater Dolly Varden can live to be as old as 16 and most spend their lives in streams or lakes.’
    • ‘Cast a line for Rainbows and Dolly Vardens in streams only 50 yards from your cabin.’
    • ‘There is little or no subsistence harvesting of Dolly Varden charr from the Firth River.’
    • ‘It is doubtful that much more than 50 percent of the Dolly Varden live to spawn a second time.’
    • ‘Considered an excellent rainbow trout fishery, the lake also fishes well for Dolly Vardens during the Sockeye Run in August.’
    • ‘In August and September, the Dolly Vardens follow the spawning salmon into the freshwater rivers, feeding on salmon eggs and hapless salmon fingerlings.’
    • ‘The eastern Rocky Mountains do not have Dolly Vardens because of the 2,000-mile distance down the Mississippi River.’
    • ‘Southern Dolly Varden reach a maximum size of fifteen to twenty-two inches in length and four pounds in weight.’


Late 19th century: from the name of a character in Dickens's Barnaby Rudge, who wore a similar hat.


Dolly Varden