One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A common porgy (fish) with faint dark vertical bars, occurring off the coasts of the north-west Atlantic.
- ‘This was shortened by the early settlers in New England to scuppaug; and afterwards to scup, a better name than porgy (or paugy, as it used to be spelled at New York), and one still in use as a common name.’
- ‘PIV analysis of boundary layer flow shows increased shear rates of 3.6 for swimming smooth dogfish and 1.5 to 1.9 for scup compared to a rigid reference.’
- ‘When the first federal fish commissioner tried in 1871 to resolve a conflict in New England over declining scup stocks, the states were ill-equipped to deal with the issue and the commissioner gave up.’
Mid 19th century: from Narragansett mishcup, from mishe ‘big’ + cuppi ‘close together’ (because of the shape of the scales).
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