crayfish

[14] The crayfish is related etymologically as well as biologically to the crab. The Old High German word for ‘crab’ was krebiz (source of modern German krebs). This was borrowed into Old French as crevice (modern French has preserved the variant form écrevisse), and transmitted to Middle English as 139 crest crevis. Association of the final syllable with fish led by the 16th century to its transformation to crayfish (a variant Middle English form cravis became crawfish). => CRAB, CRAWFISH
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   The name of the small crustacean goes back through Old French crevis to Old High German krebiz (modern German Krebs), 'crab.' It is thus basically the same word as crab, but the second part of the earlier words was altered by association with fish. The creature's alternative name, crawfish, is of the same origin.

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • crayfish — [krā′fish΄] n. pl. crayfish or crayfishes (see FISH) [altered, by assoc. with FISH < ME crevise < OFr crevice < OHG krebiz: see CRAB ] ☆ 1. any of various families of small, usually freshwater decapods somewhat resembling little lobsters …   English World dictionary

  • Crayfish — Allgemeine Informationen Genre(s) Rock Gründung 2001 Website http://www.crayfish.de/ …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • crayfish — early 14c., crevis, from O.Fr. crevice crayfish (13c., Mod.Fr. écrevisse), probably from Frankish *krebitja or a similar Germanic word that is a dim. form of the root of CRAB (Cf. crab) (1); e.g. O.H.G. krebiz crab, shellfish, Ger. Krebs. Modern… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Crayfish — Cray fish (kr[=a] f[i^]sh), n. (Zo[ o]l.) See {Crawfish}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • crayfish — a 16c alteration of an earlier word crevis (or crevisse), is the usual word in Britain for a small lobster like freshwater crustacean. Americans call them crawfish, and Australians and New Zealanders tend to abbreviate the word to cray (as in… …   Modern English usage

  • crayfish — ► NOUN (pl. same) ▪ a freshwater or marine crustacean resembling a small lobster. ORIGIN Old French crevice, related to German Krebs crab …   English terms dictionary

  • Crayfish — For the marine crustaceans commonly known as crayfish, see spiny lobster. Crayfish Temporal range: Mesozoic–Recent …   Wikipedia

  • crayfish — /kray fish /, n., pl. (esp. collectively) crayfish, (esp. referring to two or more kinds or species) crayfishes. 1. Also called crawdad, crawdaddy. any freshwater decapod crustacean of the genera Astacus and Cambarus, closely related to but… …   Universalium

  • crayfish — /ˈkreɪfɪʃ / (say krayfish) noun 1. (plural crayfish or crayfishes)→ lobster (def. 2). 2. (plural crayfish or crayfishes) Especially SA, NSW and Tasmania → rock lobster …   Australian English dictionary

  • crayfish — cray·fish (krā’fĭsh′) also craw·fish (krô’ ) n. pl. crayfish or cray·fish·es also crawfish or craw·fish·es 1) Any of various freshwater crustaceans of the families Astacidae and Cambaridae of the Northern Hemisphere and the family Parastacidae of …   Word Histories

  • crayfish — [[t]kre͟ɪfɪʃ[/t]] N COUNT (crayfish is both the singular and the plural form.) A crayfish is a small shellfish with five pairs of legs which lives in rivers and streams. You can eat some types of crayfish. Syn: crawfish …   English dictionary

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