One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An eel-like fish of the genus Ophidion (or Ophidium), or (formerly) of the family Ophidiidae; a cusk-eel.
Early 18th century; earliest use found in Phillips's New World of Words. From classical Latin ophīdion a small fish resembling the conger (Pliny) from ancient Greek ὀϕίδιον small snake from ὄϕις serpent + -ίδιον.
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