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Compound of Tinte (ink) +‎ -n- +‎ Fisch (fish). Attested from the 17th century, as dinten Fisch, equated with Merspin "sea-spider" in Joseph Du Chesne, Johann Adolph Ringelstein Diaeteticon polyhistoricum (1625). p. 218

Glossed as synonymous with sepia (cuttlefish) in Tilesius, Verzeichnis verschiedener Fische und Krebse des adriatischen Meerbusens (1796), p. 45 and in Samuel Schilling, Ausführliche Naturgeschichte des Thier-, Pflanzen- und Mineralreichs vol. 3 (1839), p. 134.

Later extended to other members of Coleoidea. Glossed as synonymous with Octopus in Globus vol. 61 (1892), p. 195.


  • IPA(key): /ˈtɪntn̩ˌfɪʃ/, /ˈtɪntənˌfɪʃ/


Tintenfisch m (genitive Tintenfisches or Tintenfischs, plural Tintenfische)

  1. any member of the Coleoidea subclass of cephalopods; more specifically of cuttlefish, but also of species of octopus, squid etc.


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