catfish, noun

Origin:
EnglishShow more Transferred use of English catfish a name given to various fishes.
1. An octopus of the species Octopus bimaculatus, O. dofleini, or O. vulgaris, belonging to the order Octopoda; sea-cat; seekat. Also attributive.
1862 A Lady Life at Cape (1963) 77A most horrible creature called a ‘catfish’, but which ought more properly to have been named ‘a sea devil’..as it was all arms and legs and huge goggle-eyed head.
1913 C. Pettman Africanderisms 117Catfish, In the neighbourhood of the Cape Octopus vulgaris is thus designated.
1945 H. Gerber Fish Fare 51Octopus or catfish..is not very often eaten in South Africa...Its meat, when suitably cooked, has much similarity to sweetbread or brains.
1961 Redwing (St Andrew’s College, Grahamstown) 12Octopi, commonly known as cat fish, are as abundant as anywhere along the coast and are a favourite of many fishermen, being tough and thus difficult to be nibbled off the hook.
1972 Grocott’s Mail 11 Feb. 3He caught a massive white steenbras of 9,6 kg on cat-fish bait, fishing on the breakwater wall at Port Elizabeth.
2. barbel sense 3.
1864 T. Baines Explor. in S.-W. Afr. 4Beyond was a broad flat, covered with cat, dog and other mud-frequenting fish.
1897 Parker & Haswell Text-Bk of Zool. II. 212The Cat-fishes (Siluridae).
1900 H.A. Bryden Animals of Afr. 196There is another strange, mud-loving fish which swarms in many of the larger South African rivers. I mean the Cat-fish, one of a class of fish known to naturalists as Siluroids.
1906 Stark & Sclater Birds of S. Afr. IV. 57Ayres found a two-pound Catfish (Clarias) in the stomach of one individual.
1986 Motorist 2nd Quarter 35Yellowfish, young catfish, carp and bass are among those suitable for drying. Catfish over about 10kg and some other fatty fish are not suitable.
1988 [see barbel sense 3].
3. barbel sense 2.
1949 J.L.B. Smith Sea Fishes of Sn Afr. 109Tachysurus Feliceps...Barbel. Barber. Sea Barbel. Catfish. Bagger...Found only in South Africa right round our coasts, common in estuaries.
1975 M.M. Smith in Smith & Jackson Common & Scientific Names of Fishes 20Order Siluriformes,..Plotsidae — eel — catfishes...Ariidae (Tachysuridae) — Sea-catfishes.
An octopus of the species Octopus bimaculatus, O. dofleini, or O. vulgaris, belonging to the order Octopoda; sea-cat; seekat. Also attributive.
barbel3.
barbel2.
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18621986