One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large freshwater catfish that occurs from central Europe to central Asia. It has been known to reach a length of 5 m and a weight of over 300 kg.
Silurus glanis, family SiluridaeAlso called sheatfish
- ‘Though there are some 28 species, ranging in size from 10-inches to a record 16 1/2 foot wels found in Europe and Russia, the most prolific and commercially desirable fish are the channel and blue varieties, most of which are ‘pan size.’’
- ‘The longest (although not the heaviest) catfish is the wels, but it is an unprepossessing fish of no great merit.’
- ‘As our only widespread catfish species, the wels is unlikely to be mistaken for any other fish.’
- ‘There are about 4000 different types of catfish in the world but the best known in Europe, and the most accessible to the UK angler is the wels catfish.’
- ‘Included amongst these are varieties of carp, barbel, zander and of course for those who are brave enough, the mighty wels catfish.’
Late 19th century: from German Wels.
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