One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The bleak, Alburnus alburnus, a cyprinid fish.
Late 18th century; earliest use found in John Ash (1724–1779), lexicographer and grammarian. From French ablette the bleak from able denoting various cyprinid fishes (1393; from post-classical Latin abula, alteration (with dissimilation of l) of classical Latin albula small fish from albus white + -ula; compare Italian regional (Marche) avola) + -ette.
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