One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A tropical African genus of freshwater catfishes which are capable of giving an electric shock; (also malapterurus) a catfish of this genus, especially Malapterurus electricus.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Henry McMurtrie (1793–1865). From scientific Latin Malapterurus, irregularly from ancient Greek μαλα- (in μαλακο-) + pter- (from ancient Greek πτέρυξ wing, fin: see pterygo-) + -urus (from ancient Greek οὐρά tail: see uro-).
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