One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A small North American pike.
Genus Esox, family Esocidae: several species, including the redfin (or grass) pickerel (E. americanus)
- ‘‘Funny,’ I said, ‘I remember catching pickerel and perch, and at night listening to Uncle Joe's great ghost stories.’’
- ‘Think of the superb species of fish that come from our coastal waters - salmon, cod, halibut, lobster and sole - added to the freshwater fish such as pickerel, shellfish and whitefish.’
- ‘Other common fish inhabiting the pond were largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides, chain pickerel Esox niger, golden shiners Notemigonus crysoleucas, and fathead minnows Pimephales promelas.’
- ‘They are E. americanus americanus, commonly known as the redfin pickerel, and E. americanus vermiculatus, known better as the grass pickerel.’
- ‘The skate was wonderfully tender and moist, and the Manitoba pickerel was a real delight - it's very delicate, so pan-frying is the right method for cooking it.’
- 1.1North American another term for wall eye (sense 2)
- 1.2 A young pike.
Middle English: diminutive of pike.
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