One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A breed of goldfish (Carassius auratus) with a tall dorsal fin, a veil-like caudal fin, and a conspicuous fleshy growth, resembling a hood or a prominent large wart, covering part or all of the head; a goldfish of this breed.
1920s; earliest use found in The Daily Express. From Japanese Oranda, short for Oranda shishigashira, lit. ‘Dutch lion-head’, a variety of this breed of goldfish from Oranda Holland, Dutch (from Portuguese Olanda or Spanish Holanda) + shishigashira lion-head (from shishi (stylized representation of a) lion + -gashira, combining form of kashira head).
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