One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A ray or skate; specifically the thornback ray, Raja clavata. Also "roker-fish" (rare).
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Once a Week: an illustrated miscellany of literature, art, science, and popular information. Apparently from Danish rokke or Swedish rocka ray, perhaps with the spelling in -er arising (in non-rhotic varieties of English) from misapprehension of the final unstressed vowel.
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