One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1An unknown person or thing.
- ‘In diary 3 she asks, ‘What name shall I give to thee, oh ami inconnu?’’
- ‘Emerson was a bel inconnu who ‘snickered at embarrassing moments.’’
2An edible predatory freshwater whitefish related to the salmon, native to Eurasian and North American lakes close to the Arctic Circle.
Stenodus leucichthys, family Salmonidae
- ‘Alt reported a Yukon River inconnu that had travelled nearly 1600 km upstream after being tagged, while Brown reported inconnu from the same river migrating 1700 km between the sea and freshwater spawning areas.’
- ‘Unlike other whitefishes, which feed on plankton and benthic invertebrates, inconnu are mainly piscivorous.’
Early 19th century: French, literally ‘unknown’.
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