One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large predatory tropical marine fish with a slender body and large jaws and teeth.
Genus Sphyraena, family Sphyraenidae: several species, in particular the inedible and poisonous great barracuda (S. barracuda) and the edible Pacific barracuda (S. argentea)
- ‘It has been observed that great barracudas herd schools of fish into shallow water and guard them.’
- ‘It is here that divers may encounter anything from schooling batfish, barracudas to a sailfish, or even the whale shark.’
- ‘Some of the fish you can expect to catch are, Kingfish, barracuda, tuna, queen fish, jack crevale dorado, cobia, bonito, wahoo, sailfish and sharks.’
- ‘Among profuse schools of trevallies and barracuda, huge tunas and a host of sharks cruise the sheer wall.’
- ‘The wrecks are home to a wide variety of corals and marine life including angelfish, barracudas, margates, sharks, snappers and turtles.’
Late 17th century: of unknown origin.
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