shark

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English[edit]

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Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English shark (used by Thomas Beckington in 1442 to refer to a kind of fish),[1] of uncertain origin. Most likely from a semantic extension of the German-derived shark (scoundrel), see below. The fish was originally called a dogfish or haye in English and Middle English.

Noun[edit]

shark (plural sharks)

  1. (ichthyology) A scaleless, predatory fish of the superorder Selachimorpha, with a cartilaginous skeleton and 5 to 7 gill slits on each side of its head.
    • 1569, The true discripcion of this marueilous straunge Fishe, whiche was taken on Thursday was sennight, the xvi. day of June, this present month, in the yeare of our Lord God, M.D.lxix., a broadside printed in London, the second earliest known use of the term; reprinted in A Collection of Seventy-Nine Black-Letter Ballads and Broadsides: printed in the reigh of Queen Elizabeth, between the years 1559 and 1597 in 1867:
      The straunge fishe is in length xvij. foote and iij. foote broad, and in compas about the bodie vj. foote; and is round snowted, short headdid, hauing iij. rankes of teeth on either iawe, [...]. Also it hath v. gills of eache side of the head, shoing white. Ther is no proper name for it that I know, but that sertayne men of Captayne Haukinses doth call it a sharke.
    • 2011 October 13, AP, “Man 'surfs' great white shark”, in The Guardian:
      He said he had spoken to a woman who was kayaking off Catalina Island, California, in 2008 when a shark slammed her kayak from underneath and sent her flying into the air. She then landed on the back of the shark, Collier said. "At that point the shark started to swim out to sea, so she jumped off its back," Collier said.
  2. (UK, college slang) A university student who is not a fresher that has engaged in sexual activity with a fresher; usually habitually and with multiple people.
Alternative forms[edit]
Synonyms[edit]
  • (scaleless cartilaginous fish): haye (obsolete)
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

shark (third-person singular simple present sharks, present participle sharking, simple past and past participle sharked)

  1. (rare) To fish for sharks.
  2. (UK, college slang) Of a university student who is not a fresher, to engage in sexual activity with a fresher, or to be at a bar or club with the general intention of engaging in such activity.

See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From German Schurke (scoundrel); compare Dutch schurk.

Noun[edit]

shark (plural sharks)

  1. Someone who exploits others, for example by trickery, lies, usury, extortion.
    • 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter XII, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 4293071, page 85:
      “[…] Churchill, my dear fellow, we have such greedy sharks, and wolves in lamb's clothing. Oh, dear, there's so much to tell you, so many warnings to give you, but all that must be postponed for the moment.”
  2. (informal, derogatory) A sleazy and amoral lawyer.
  3. (informal, derogatory) An ambulance chaser.
  4. (informal) A relentless and resolute person or group, especially in business.
    • 2018 June 17, Barney Ronay, “Mexico’s Hirving Lozano stuns world champions Germany for brilliant win”, in Katharine Viner, editor, The Guardian[1], London: Guardian News & Media, ISSN 0261-3077, OCLC 229952407, archived from the original on 5 August 2019:
      In the event they lacked a proper midfield bolt, with Toni Kroos and Sami Khedira huffing around in pursuit of the whizzing green machine. The centre-backs looked flustered, left to deal with three on two as Mexico broke. Löw’s 4-2-3-1 seemed antiquated and creaky, with the old World Cup shark Thomas Müller flat-footed in a wide position.
  5. (informal) A very good poker or pool player. Compare fish (a bad poker player).
  6. (sports and games) A person who feigns ineptitude to win money from others.
Usage notes[edit]
  • The use of the term by people unfamiliar with pool is rarely well perceived by experienced players.
Synonyms[edit]
  • (player who feigns ineptitude to win money): hustler
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

shark (third-person singular simple present sharks, present participle sharking, simple past and past participle sharked)

  1. (obsolete) To steal or obtain through fraud.
  2. (obsolete, intransitive) To play the petty thief; to practice fraud or trickery; to swindle.
    • 1628, John Earle, Microcosmography
      Neither sharks for a cup or a reckoning.
  3. (obsolete, intransitive) To live by shifts and stratagems.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

Probably from the "steal" senses above, but perhaps related to shear. Compare shirk.

Verb[edit]

shark (third-person singular simple present sharks, present participle sharking, simple past and past participle sharked)

  1. (obsolete) To pick or gather indiscriminately or covertly.

References[edit]

  1. ^ shark, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  2. ^ shark” in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.

Further reading[edit]

  • shark at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • shark” in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.

Anagrams[edit]


Albanian[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Proto-Slavic *sorka (shirt).[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

shark m (definite singular sharku)

  1. shepherd's vest
Related terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Ancient Greek σάρξ (sárx).[2]

Noun[edit]

shark m (definite singular sharku)

  1. shell (of certain fruits like nuts, hazel, chestnut etc)
  2. skin (that covers the seed of certain fruits like peach, grape, prunes etc)
  3. snake skin

References[edit]

  1. ^ Orel, Vladimir (1998), “shark”, in Albanian Etymological Dictionary, Leiden, Boston, Cologne: Brill, →ISBN, page 408
  2. ^ H. Mihăescu, Influența grecească asupra limbii române pînă în secolul al XV-lea, Editura Academiei Republicii Socialiste România, 1966, page 63