One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A ray of the family Rhinobatidae, having an elongated body which is intermediate in form between a ray and a shark; a guitarfish.
Mid 19th century. From scientific Latin Rhinobatos, genus name (H. F. Linck 1790, in Magazin für das Neueste aus der Physik und Naturgeschichte 6 32; from ancient Greek ῥινόβατος rough-skinned fish (from ῥίνη shark with a rough skin, angelfish, transferred use of ῥίνη file, rasp (of unknown origin) + βάτος ray with spikes, transferred use of βάτος bramble (perhaps of Mediterranean origin)) + -id, after scientific Latin Rhinobatidae, family name.
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