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Etymology 1[edit]

From Old French maquerel. Further origin unknown.


mackerel ‎(plural mackerel or mackerels)

  1. An edible fish of the family Scombridae, often speckled.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 8, Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      Philander went into the next room [] and came back with a salt mackerel that dripped brine like a rainstorm. Then he put the coffee pot on the stove and rummaged out a loaf of dry bread and some hardtack.
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Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English, from Old French maquerel, from Middle Dutch makelare, makelaer ‎(broker) (> makelaar ‎(broker, peddler)). See also French maquereau.


mackerel ‎(plural mackerels)

  1. (obsolete) A pimp; also, a bawd.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Halliwell to this entry?)