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Geoduck clam
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Alternative forms[edit]


From Lushootseed gwídəq, variously understood as reference to its deep digging or resemblance to male genitalia. The unusual spelling of the first syllable is thought to represent editorial hypercorrection of forms with goe- &c. (probably under influence from the common prefix geo-), despite the earlier attestation of forms with geo-. The spelling pronunciation /ˈdʒiːəʊdʌk/ once listed in dictionaries is now considered nonstandard. The common spelling of the second syllable is under influence from duck, originally with reference to the mollusc's resemblance to the body and neck of a dead duck.



geoduck (countable and uncountable, plural geoducks)

  1. (uncountable) The species of large saltwater clam Panopea generosa, native to the northeast Pacific coasts from Alaska to Washington State, distinguished by its deep burrowing and long unprotected siphon; (countable) a member of the species; (uncountable) its flesh as a seafood.
    • 1881, H. Hemphill, letter in the Bulletin of the US Fishing Commission, No. 1, p. 21:
      Glycimeris generosa. Olympia, Washington Territory... The boys at Olympia call them ‘Geoducks’; they dig them on a certain sand bar at extreme low tide, and sell them to a merchant who ships them to Portland, Oreg... The boys inform me that the Indians on the Sound... dry them for food with the other clams.
    • 2004 April, Smithsonian, p. 92:
      I survey the ice-lined crates containing sea snails, rock cod, sea urchin and a Vancouver favorite, geoduck (pronounced gooey-duck)—a giant clam.
  2. (New Zealand) Other species of Panopea, especially Panopea zelandica, native to the coasts of New Zealand.
    • 1989 November 6, Listener, p. 33:
      Alick Shaw... uses up to 14 kilograms of geoduck in chowder weekly...