One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A baleen whale which has a hump (instead of a dorsal fin) and long white flippers.
Megaptera novaeangliae, family Balaenopteridae
- ‘About a dozen whales have been spotted to date, mostly humpbacks, and five have been darted.’
- ‘Visitors to the site where a humpback whale beached itself at the weekend were shocked to discover the mammal had already been put down yesterday.’
- ‘It's not unusual to see dolphins cavorting near the boat when in the tropics, but during one trip we saw a humpback whale lumbering along in its own beautiful way.’
- ‘For a musician it would be difficult, if not impossible, to define the sounds of the humpback whale without using musical terms.’
- ‘The humpback whale creates the most complex, long-lasting, repetitive sound patterns of any non-human animal on our planet.’
2A small salmon with dark spots on the back, native to the North Pacific and introduced into the north-western Atlantic.
Oncorhynchus gorbuscha, family SalmonidaeAlso called pink salmon
3another term for hunchback
- ‘Stricken with Pott's disease when just a boy, he scarcely grew taller after that and was left with a humpback created by a deformed spine.’
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