One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A genus of bivalve molluscs comprising the softshell clam Mya arenaria (family Myidae) and closely related species having thin shells and long siphons; (also mya) a mollusc of this genus; a softshell clam, a gaper.
Late 18th century; earliest use found in Thomas Pennant (1726–1798), naturalist, traveller, and writer. From scientific Latin Mya (Linnaeus Systema Naturae (ed. 10, 1758) I. 670), probably an alteration of ancient Greek μῦς mussel, muscle, mouse; compare -a.
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