Talk:fish

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Ncik, I have to disagree with you here. Paul G's formatting was much better. Names are better than numbers because they don't become invalid when people add, delete or move things around. And the empty double square brackets [[]] are just plain ugly. — Hippietrail 16:58, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Herman Melville, etc.[edit]

"Now when a country dandy like this takes it into his head to make a distinguished reputation, and joins the great whale-fishery, you should see the comical things he does upon reaching the seaport."

"In this same New Bedford there stands a Whaleman's Chapel, and few are the moody fishermen, shortly bound for the Indian Ocean or Pacific, who fail to make a Sunday visit to the spot."

"A brief pause ensued; the preacher slowly turned over the leaves of the Bible, and at last, folding his hand down upon the proper page, said: "Beloved shipmates, clinch the last verse of the first chapter of Jonah--'And God had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah.'" "

"By old English statutory law, the whale is declared "a royal fish." "

" The grounds upon which Linnaeus would fain have banished the whales from the waters, he states as follows: "On account of their warm bilocular heart, their lungs, their movable eyelids, their hollow ears, penem intrantem feminam mammis lactantem," and finally, "ex lege naturae jure meritoque." I submitted all this to my friends Simeon Macey and Charley Coffin, of Nantucket, both messmates of mine in a certain voyage, and they united in the opinion that the reasons set forth were altogether insufficient. Charley profanely hinted they were humbug.

Be it known that, waiving all argument, I take the good old fashioned ground that the whale is a fish, and call upon holy Jonah to back me. This fundamental thing settled, the next point is, in what internal respect does the whale differ from other fish. Above, Linnaeus has given you those items. But in brief, they are these: lungs and warm blood; whereas, all other fish are lungless and cold blooded.

Next: how shall we define the whale, by his obvious externals, so as conspicuously to label him for all time to come? To be short, then, a whale is A SPOUTING FISH WITH A HORIZONTAL TAIL. There you have him. However contracted, that definition is the result of expanded meditation. A walrus spouts much like a whale, but the walrus is not a fish, because he is amphibious. But the last term of the definition is still more cogent, as coupled with the first. Almost any one must have noticed that all the fish familiar to landsmen have not a flat, but a vertical, or up-and-down tail. Whereas, among spouting fish the tail, though it may be similarly shaped, invariably assumes a horizontal position. "

So a fish is any vertebrate that lives in the water and cannot venture onto land. (Whether squid are fish is another question.)

Another argument is that mammals are more closely related to ordinary modern fish than agnatha, such as lampreys and hagfish, are. David R. Ingham 21:48, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

adj vs attributive noun[edit]

"Fish dinner" and "fish hook" are cases of using fish as an attributive noun, a construction that serves the same function as an adjective, but IIRC does not imply the existence of an adjective. Hopefully this has been discussed elsewhere on Wikt; am i foolish in my confidence that such discussion would/did come to a conclusion that examples of attributive use are worth inclusion somehow, but not labelled as adjectives? --User:Jerzy·t 19:05, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

We are wrestling with how to constructively handle this. Many contributors are convinced that, for entries that don't have an adjective listed for a the attibutive senses of the noun, they should add their favorite one of those senses. We have a substantial number of such entries. We are trying to come up with some way of reminding folks that almost any noun can be used attributively. The problem with putting in the usage examples is that it would double the number for almost every sense of almost every noun. Take a look at the discussion at Wiktionary:Tea_room#walk-on and at Wiktionary:Tea_room#satellite, which references earlier discussions. probably in WT:BP (page search for "attributive"). Would you say that, if a noun forms a comparative (and/or superlative) that it merits being deemed an adjective? That's my own principal operational criterion. In the case of "fish", I don't think that happens. We have "fish-y" (-i-:-er/-est) and compounds like (more/most) "fish-flavored" that seem to have prevented such comparatives from emerging. DCDuring TALK 19:25, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the prompt & helpful response. I just wander in from WP sometimes, so i doubt i should get involved, knowing (thanks to you) that it's at least being grappled with.
--User:Jerzy·t 19:59, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
We can always use fresh eyes, especially knowledgable ones. Also we like it if a few folks from WP grasp our kind of issues a bit. So, do drop in! DCDuring TALK 20:36, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Request for verification[edit]

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There are two adjectives: "of or relating to fish", and "of or relating to fishing". I dispute the second one, which is exemplified in the entry by "fish hook". I'd say that's a hook that relates to fish. (And on second thoughts, perhaps we shouldn't have the first one either, since it's attributive use of a noun.) Equinox 02:24, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

I don't think this meets the adjective tests. Certainly not *"too fish" or *"very fish" or *"become fish" (in adj sense) or *"more fish than" (in adj sense). The availability of "fishy" probably eliminates the need for it as adj. DCDuring TALK 02:53, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Looks like attributive use of the noun to me. I'm hard-pressed to think of any true adjectival use. --EncycloPetey 22:53, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

RFV failed, "of or relating to fishing" sense removed. I didn't touch the "of or relating to fish" sense because it wasn't tagged, but feel free to RFV or RFD it (or even to just remove it unilaterally). —RuakhTALK 02:47, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

Request for deletion[edit]

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3. (intransitive, followed by "about," "around," "through," etc.) To attempt to find or get hold of an object by searching among other objects.

Why are you fishing through in my things? [sic in the entry]

6. (transitive, followed by "for") To attempt to get hold of (an object) that is among other objects.

He was fishing for the keys in his pocket.

These coincide AFAICT and should be merged. Past discussion at User talk:DCDuring#fish.23Verb.​—msh210 17:44, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

  • What is the new definition you are proposing? Polarpanda 21:43, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
    • Something like
      3. (intransitive) To attempt to find or get hold of an object by searching among other objects.
      Why are you fishing through my things?
      He was fishing for the keys in his pocket.
    • ​—msh210 16:43, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

Done.​—msh210 16:55, 8 April 2010 (UTC)

RFV discussion[edit]

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"(of a drag queen or transsexual) Resembling a biological woman. Girl, yo chick was lookin fish tonight." Equinox 17:24, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

RFV failed, sense removed. —RuakhTALK 12:38, 28 July 2010 (UTC)


When did "fish" take on it's current meaning?[edit]

I'm pretty sure "fish" used to mean "any creature that lives in water", so that when in past times people said that whales (for example) were fish, they weren't being ignorant, they were correct by the definition of the day. Does any one know when the usage or definition changed to the current meaning?

Approximate dates like that would be helpful for the entry, but while it's easy to date new meanings for words, it's trickier to pinpoint when older meanings fell into disuse (if it is the case that that meaning has fallen into disuse). I'd guess 1700s, what with words like jellyfish apparently coined as late as then (though a jellyfish was originally something else) and it being tied down to the then existent Class Pisces in zoology. Greatgavini (talk) 20:24, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Not really relevant, but interesting: the Webster 1913 dictionary (which is pretty recent, really, in language terms) glosses all seaweeds as botanical terms, whereas now seaweeds/algae are not regarded as plants. Equinox 19:07, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Why is there a picture of a chimpanzee on this page?[edit]

If there is a good reason for it, I can't discern it from the context. bd2412 T 15:16, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

RFV discussion: March–July 2014[edit]

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fish

Rfv-sense: adjective

Needs citations that are not attributive use of the noun. — Ungoliant (falai) 02:10, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

Rather tempting to speedy it, especially when I see the hyperformal "piscine; ichthyic" above "It was a fine fish dinner". Nobody ever had a piscine, ichthyic dinner. Equinox 02:12, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
Failed. — Ungoliant (falai) 18:34, 11 July 2014 (UTC)