One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A genus of carnivorous marine gastropods (family Naticidae) which burrow into the shells of bivalves. Also (in form natica): a gastropod of this genus; any gastropod of the family Naticidae with a calcareous operculum, a moon snail; (now rare).
Early 19th century; earliest use found in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. From scientific Latin Natica, probably from post-classical Latin natica buttock, perhaps with allusion to the smooth, rounded shell typical of members of the genus.
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