One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The common piddock (mollusc).
Pholas dactylus, family Pholadidae
- ‘The bodies of other marine animals shine after death, none perhaps so vividly as that of the Pholas, a mollusk well known to those who reside on the coast.’
- ‘If the reader will examine the outside of a Pholas shell, he will find it studded, in regular rows, with little projections.’
Mid 17th century: modern Latin (later adopted as a genus name), from Greek phōlas ‘that lurks in a hole’, from phōleos ‘hole’.
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