One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of numerous sponges constituting the large class Demospongiae, with skeletons made of spongin fibres (with or without silica spicules).
Late 19th century; earliest use found in William Sollas (1849–1936), geologist and anthropologist. From ancient Greek δῆμος common people + sponge, after scientific Latin Demospongiae, class name, so named because it constitutes the great majority of sponges.
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