One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A European freshwater fish of the perch family, with a greenish-brown back and yellow sides and underparts.
Gymnocephalus cernua, family Percidae
- ‘In addition to plenty of perch, Roger Baker reported that skimmers, roach, tommy ruffe, chub and bleak were all in abundance, once again illustrating the Ouse is alive and well.’
- ‘The ruff, on the other hand, although a smaller fish, makes good eating; its flesh is tender and tasty.’
- ‘These fish are at risk from other species of fish, especially roach and ruffe, which have been introduced in recent years - some say by pike anglers using them as bait.’
- ‘The host country were convincing winners with 42.5 points on a canal which provided roach, small skimmers, perch, ruffe and bleak and the occasional sizeable bream.’
- ‘The 40-mile stretch of the River Ure includes important game fisheries with trout, grayling and even salmon, but there are worries that many less well-known species such as the ruffe and bullhead are in decline.’
Late Middle English: probably from a variant of rough.
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