One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Originally: a stargazer fish (family Uranoscopidae), a fish of the genus Uranoscopus. Now chiefly (in form Uranoscopus): the genus itself.
Late 16th century; earliest use found in Thomas Fortescue (d. 1602), translator and alleged sorcerer. From classical Latin ūranoscopos fish with permanently upturned eyes (Pliny) or its etymon Hellenistic Greek οὐρανοσκόπος from ancient Greek οὐρανο- + -σκόπος.
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