One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Chiefly US. Any of various marine fishes of the Caribbean and western Atlantic whose flesh when cooked is supposed to taste of mutton; especially (a) the mutton snapper, Lutjanus analis; (b) the ocean pout, Macrozoarces americanus; (c) the Irish pompano, Diapterus auratus.
2Australian. Any of various edible gastropod molluscs of the genus Haliotis; an abalone; especially the large H. ruber, common in southern and eastern Australia.
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. From mutton + fish.
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