One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An abalone (mollusc), especially one used as food in the Channel Islands.
Genus Haliotis, in particular H. tuberculata
- ‘The ormer is a favourite with islanders who can spend hours wading through rock pools on Guernseys coastline in search of the elusive abalone.’
- ‘The Oormer is a single-shelled gastropod that crawls (limpet-like) over the rocks feeding on algae.’
- ‘Although the ormer is not a commercially exploited species, it is very important both biologically and socially to Jersey.’
Mid 17th century: Channel Islands French, from French ormier, from Latin auris maris ‘ear of the sea’ (because the ormer resembles an ear in shape).
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