One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A genus of marine annelids (the type genus of the family Nereidae or Nereididae, the ragworms); (also nereis) a worm of (or formerly assigned to) this genus.
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in John Hill (bap. 1714, d. 1775), physician and actor. From scientific Latin Nereis (Linnaeus Systema Naturae (ed. 10, 1758) I. 654) from classical Latin Nērēis, Nēreis.
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