"tom-cod", 1769, U.S., antedates OED2; ? = "small fry"?

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun Aug 1 21:42:45 UTC 2010

On Sun, Aug 1, 2010 at 11:44 AM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:
> sense 3, "Young fishes just produced from the
> spawn." [In passing, _shouldn't that be "young
> *fish*_?]

Probably not. _Fishes_ was still the usual plural - at least in Saint
Louis and points south - in both print, especially in the titles of
plates (Fishes and Other Aquatic Life of The Gulf of Mexico), and
speech by the time that, During The War, I had learned to read.
Indeed, the plural _fish_ in place of _fishes_ still feels a little
fishy to me.

Cf. also the title of a popular song of the day,

"Three Little _Fishes_." Kay Kyser's Kollege of Musical Knowledge.

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"––a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
–Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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