One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small, long-bodied fish with eyes at the top of the head and venomous dorsal spines. It occurs along eastern Atlantic coasts, typically buried in the sand with just the eyes and spines protruding.
- ‘Until I dived off the beach at Criccieth in north Wales, I had never seen more than a fleeting glimpse of a lesser weever, the most common venomous fish around Britain.’
- ‘Pectoral fin on upper side has black tip thought to mimic dorsal fin of venomous weever fish to deter predators.’
- ‘All weevers have venomous spines on their back and on the gill-covers.’
- ‘The only poisonous fish regularly found around UK shores is the weever fish.’
- ‘When disturbed, weevers erect a dark-colored and highly venomous dorsal spine.’
- ‘If a weever fish or stingray stings you, you will experience intense pain lasting for about two hours.’
Early 17th century: perhaps a transferred use of Old French wivre ‘serpent, dragon’, from Latin vipera ‘viper’.
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