One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
More fully "opelet anemone". Any of several sea anemones of the genus Anemonia, characterized by long tentacles that cannot be fully retracted; especially A. sulcata, which occurs in both brown and green forms and is found in the north-east Atlantic and the Mediterranean.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Philip Gosse (1810–1888), zoologist and religious writer. From ope + -let, with allusion to the fact that the anemone's tentacles cannot be retracted.
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