Definition of piddock in US English:



  • A bivalve mollusk which bores into soft rock or other firm surfaces. The valves of the shell have a conspicuous gap between them and rough frontal ridges to aid in boring.

    Pholas and other genera, family Pholadidae

    • ‘This member of the Piddock family lives intertidally in mud and peat banks.’
    • ‘The White piddock has mostly been described as smaller than the American one, but at the Belgian coast, opposite results have been found.’
    • ‘The piddock has a thin, brittle shell that is similar in shape and sculpturing on both sides.’
    • ‘Some boring shellfish bore with chemistry, but the American piddock is a mechanical borer – repetitively grinding its shell with a rotating movement backward and forward to create a burrow for itself in softer substrates in the shallows of the intertidal zones.’
    • ‘In SE Asia piddocks may be boiled and eaten with sauce and rice, or sautéed with shallots, or made into a curry.’


Mid 19th century: of unknown origin.