One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The arapaima, a very large food fish of the Amazon basin, Arapaima gigas (family Osteoglossidae) that is one of the largest freshwater fishes in the world.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Robert Schomburgk (1804–1865), surveyor and traveller. From Portuguese pirarucu from Tupi pirauru'ku from pi'ra fish + uru'ku red tincture, red paint, so called on account of the red colour of the border of its scales.
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