One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of a number of bivalve mollusks with a brown or purplish-black shell.
a marine bivalve that uses byssus threads to anchor to a firm surface (family Mytilidae, order Mytiloidea), including the edible mussel (Mytilus edulis)
a freshwater bivalve that typically lies on the bed of a river, some species forming small pearls (family Unionidae, order Unionoida)
- ‘Extract the meat from most of the mussels and discard the shells.’
- ‘Think of molluscs and chances are it is shellfish such as limpets, whelks, scallops and mussels that spring to mind.’
- ‘Why couldn't they be farmed, like oysters, or grown on ropes, like mussels?’
- ‘Fresh mussels, also known as poor man's oysters for their cheap abundance, are marvellous at this time of year.’
- ‘The shop also has a wide range of seafood including tiger prawns, mussels, sea bream and breaded crab claws.’
- ‘Scrub the mussels and clams, discarding any whose shells are gaping open or seem lifeless when you squeeze them.’
- ‘Meanwhile Andrew lived simply on a diet of mussels and whelks and the occasional boiled crab that bubbled in the pot.’
- ‘Four or five minutes later, add the clams, then the mussels and prawns, and stir in the saffron strands.’
- ‘To this she added most of a can of tomatoes and a touch of cream, and the mussels were put in to steam.’
- ‘Remove the mussels with a draining spoon and transfer to warm bowls.’
- ‘Add the vegetables, watercress and shelled mussels and clams to this, season to taste and serve.’
- ‘Remove the heads and shells from the prawns and shell the mussels.’
- ‘Soak the clams and the mussels in a big pot of cold water for an hour or two.’
- ‘Shell the mussels, watching out for any reluctant beards, and discard any that aren't open.’
- ‘I started with mussels, tiger prawns and scallops in a light fish broth flavoured with Chinese spices.’
- ‘When cool enough to handle, slip the mussels from their shells and set aside.’
- ‘I actually like rocks because you can find lots of stuff in them like mussels and crabs and shellfish.’
- ‘We ate fish soup, mussels, oysters, skate in brown butter and my aunt's tomato salad.’
- ‘When everything is boiling, put in the bag of mussels and boil for 2 minutes.’
- ‘Press the shells of any open mussels together with your fingers; if they don't close, throw them away.’
Old English mus(c)le, superseded by forms from Middle Low German mussel, Middle Dutch mosscele; ultimately from late Latin muscula, from Latin musculus (see muscle).
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