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Researchers examine an opah (Lampris guttatus), which was later released


From Igbo uba. Earliest attestation in English is the Royal Society’s 1752 Philosophical Transactions, 1749–50 (vol. 46, p. 519): “The black Prince, and his Cousin, from Anamaboe on the Coast of Guinea, and Mr. Creighton, formerly Governor of Capo Corso Castle, upon seeing this Fish immediately knew it, and said it was common on that Coast … The Natives call it Opah, and the English there call it the King-fish”[1]



opah (plural opahs or opah)

  1. Any of various large, colourful, deep-bodied pelagic fish of the family Lamprididae.
    • 2003, Margaret M. Smith, Phillip C. Heemstra (editors), Smiths' Sea Fishes (Revision of 1977, James Leonard Brierley Smith, The Sea Fishes of Southern Africa), page 398,
      A member of the lower epipelagic community, the opah feeds on squid and fishes (including some benthic species) and is usually found well offshore.
    • 2006, Sharon Hamblin, Adventure Guide Maui, page 36:
      For a long time, opah has been thought to be good luck so it was only given away, never sold. Opah is a nonschooling open-ocean fish so it's not caught in great quantities.
    • 2013, Roy Yamaguchi, John Harrisson, Roy's Fish and Seafood: Recipes from the Pacific Rim, page 77:
      Opah is an extraordinary-looking ocean fish, with an almost perfectly round shape; a comparatively thin, flat profile; a silvery skin, and bright crimson fins.



See also[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Oxford English Dictionary. 3rd ed. Jun 2004. OED Online, s.v. ‘opah, n.