One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A commercially valuable hake of coastal waters of southern Africa.
Merluccius capensis, family Merlucciidae
- ‘Elf, called shad in KwaZuluNatal, are streamlined, silvery, olive-green fish sought after by anglers, but hake often called stockfish, is South Africa's most popular table fish.’
2Cod or a similar fish split and dried in the open air without salt.
- ‘Thomas had already, in May 1332, obtained a protection to assist him in taking 500 quarters of wheat to Norway to trade for stockfish, and he obtained similar export licences in March 1333 and January 1335.’
- ‘Even before the ninth century, stockfish was produced in substantial amounts in northern Norway, especially around the cod spawning grounds off the Lofoten and Vesteralen Islands.’
- ‘A local firm makes rhubarb squash, and a guide to eating out in Tromsø promises ‘fresh raw ingredients, such as goat steak, Arctic char in Pernod, seal meat lasagne and grilled stockfish.’’
- ‘We can remember fantastic stockfishes prepared in local restaurants and humbles inns.’
- ‘To be brief, both salt cod and stockfish have their origins in early medieval times.’
- ‘In 1336 he freighted a ship of a fellow Lynn merchant (who also frequented the Norwegian market) to fetch stockfish and victuals from Norway; his own ships may have already been absent on voyages.’
- ‘Just as Cologne traded Rhine and Mosel wines to the Baltic and the Low Countries in exchange for herrings and stockfish, Frankfurt did the same with Alsace wines.’
- ‘In 1333 he and an associate were described as ‘king's merchants’ when licensed to take corn to Norway to trade for stockfish.’’
- ‘Kristiansund's history is based on salted stockfish.’
Middle English (in stockfish (sense 2)): from Middle Low German, Middle Dutch stokvisch, of unknown origin; stockfish (sense 1) (early 19th century) from South African Dutch.
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