fish n [phonetics unavailable]. Cent ~1 n 5 'codfish: so
called by Cape Cod and Cape Ann fishermen' (1890), DC esp Nfld (1861-) for sense
1; for combs. in sense 3: cp DAE ~ box; Cent ~ book; OED ~ flake
(1837-), DC (1818-); NID ~ fly; Cent ~ fork; OED ~ house (a)
obs (1485, 1701), DAE (1651-), DC 1 (1934-); DC ~ pile (Nfld: 1861);
Cent ~ prong; cp OED ~ room naut (1815, 1850); Cent ~ stage,
DC 2 Nfld (1910-); Cent ~ store. Fish combinations expressing
condition, cure, seasonal or geographical occurrence, etc, are listed alphabetically: cp
BANK, FALL, GREEN, SALT FISH, SUMMER. See also FISHING and its combs.
1 Cod (Gadus morhua).
1962 Cabot Voyages 210 [tr] They assert that the sea there is swarming with fish,
which can be taken
not only with the net, but in baskets let down
with a stone, so that it sinks in the water.]  1940
Gilbert's Voyages & Enterprises ii. 392 [Hayes'
narrative] Where being usually at that time of the yere,
untill the fine of August, a multitude of ships repairing thither for fish, we should be
with many necessaries. 1610 Willoughby
Papers 9a/330 ... and allso Five pounds p[er] Cent upon all
goods by them shipped oute from thence other then fishe and other
necessaries requesite to fishinge. 
1963 YONGE 57 They bring
the fish at the stage head, the foreshipman goes to boil their kettle, the other two
throw up the fish on the stage-head by pears [pews].  1792
CARTWRIGHT iii 199 A very poor voyage
of fish has been killed at
this place. 1842 Monthly Rev 107 At dinner, the Newfoundlanders will ask you
whether you will take 'herring or fish?''salmon or fish?' meaning by the latter
nothing more, and nothing less than cod.  1915 Decisions of the Supreme Court of
Newfoundland 22-5 The word 'fish' without further addition means in the Newfoundland
trade cod-fish... Verdict for the plaintiff. 1858 [LOWELL] i, 74 She had given her lesson
to her little sister, who was no great proficient at learning, and who was, by degrees,
(like some other children, with other words,) getting broken of making 'c - o - d' spell
'fish.' 1887 Colonist Christmas No 17 As you lay with your head
over the gunwale, thinking yourself the most miserable of human
beings, you hated the [vocation] that could give youfish plenty and price
goodyour ten pounds a day. 1912 CABOT 78 The Spracklins had fish; namely, cod.
Nothing is fish to a Newfoundlander but cod,cod alone. Salmon are salmon, trout are
trout, the same with herring, caplin, and the rest; but to him cod only is Fish. 
1980 Evening Telegram 14 June, p. 6 Fish and bait are scarce at Port aux Basques,
a few fish were taken at Sagona yesterday.  1965 PEACOCK (ed) i, 130 "For the Fish
We Must Prepare": The winter will soon be past b'ys, / Look out for maggots and flies, /
Summer time is drawing near, / For the fish we must prepare. T 194/5-65 I went over and
pulled my trap, and he was right full of herringthey
meshed in the vees, meshed in the skirts. I never witnessed the like; that's herring, not
fish. T 210/12-65 When we speak about fish 'tis always cod-fish; that's what we calls
fish. 1974 SOUIRE 28 Shortly after the war ... the price of fish fell to a low ebb. 1981
Evening Telegram 9 Mar, p. 6 'Fish,' said the local chap in answer to a visitor's
question, 'fish is fish'. . that is to say, codfish.
var collocations and phr a big fish day: a successful day's cod-fishing.
1909 BROWNE 251 It was very dark when we entered Francis Harbor,
but every stage was aglow, as it had been 'a big fish day.'
fish and brewis [phonetics unavailable]: cod-fish cooked
with hard tack or sea biscuit. See also BREWIS, FISHERMAN'S ~ . [1785 SHEFFIELD 92 The
fishermen live on fish and fat pork, of which with hard biscuit, they make a dish that is
preferred by them to fresh provisions; neither the bank fishing, nor the in-shore, or
boat fishing, will admit of any other but salt provisions.]  1975 WHITELEY 57
BreakfastPorridge or fish and brewis (hard tack). 1924 ENGLAND 117 'Fish an'
brewis, how many youse?' It rhymed, for brewis is pronounced 'bruise.'  1965
PEACOCK (ed) i, 123 "Fish and Brewis": When springtime come round we'll go cutting
spruce, / We'll make just enough to have fish and brewis, / If the cutting is bad then
we'll go in the hole, / There's no other redemption but live on the dole. T 75/6-64
[We'd] carry a stock o' hard bread, and make brewis out o' the hard bread. You often
heard of brewis, fish an' brewis. 1975 COOK 10 He's jest like one of the family. Eats his
bit of fish and brewis. Jest loves a salt pork dinner. 1979 POTTLE v I was a child of
that Canadian province-to-be where the attachment of the word 'dirty' to politics was as
natural as the affinity of fish and brewis.
fish-and-fog-land: jocular name for Newfoundland.
1869 MCCREA 124 Fish-and-fog-land was, about this time, in a denser
fog than usual.
fish and vang: cod cooked with fat pork.
See also VANG.
1842 JUKES ii, 68 We dined on 'fish and vang,'
which being interpreted means cod-fish and salt pork cut into 'junks' and boiled
together, and with a mealy potato it is really a most excellent dish. 1909 BROWNE 294 We
dined ... off 'fish and vang'. . a delicacy known only to Labrador fishermen. P 245-55 ~
Codfish and fatback pork.
fish or no fish: an expression of
determination: regardless of circumstances.
P 108-70 Please god,
we'll be married in the fall, fish or no fish!
fish upon the
gang-boards: fully loaded with cod.
Gloss i, x [There are] fish upon the gangboards. An expression used by fishermen
to denote, a boat being completely laden with fish; to shew which, they bring in two or
three upon the Gangboards.
3 Attrib, comb, cpd fish barrel:
wooden container for a designated quantity of cod-fish; cp BARREL.
1979 TIZZARD 81 Here my father made fish barrels of different
sizes: four quintals, two quintals and one quintal.
barrow: a flat, rectangular wooden frame with handles at each end for two men to
carry cod-fish; BARROW1.
1897 J A Folklore x,
212 [A] tommy nogger [is] a frame usually of wood, but sometimes of iron, on which
to rest the fish-barrow when the fish is being weighed. 1936 SMITH 38 Mr Apsey gave me
orders to get the schooner ready for dry fish, and we began ballasting her and putting
dunnage on board, also rinds, fish barrows, fish beams and weights. M 71-103 Fish
barrows, two shafts with a boarded mid-section, were used by two men to carry fish long
distances. 1976 CASHIN 61 I was put to work at varied jobs such as carrying the fish
barrow and stowing dry fish in the holds of boats.
an expanse of beach levelled for the drying of salt cod; BAWN.
1971 NOSEWORTHY 198 ~ A rocky beach on which fish is spread to dry.
fish-beam: a scale for weighing dried cod (see 1936 quot at
fish beetle: rove beetle
(Staphylinus villosus). See fish-fly below.
GOSSE 136 There were numbers of Staphylinidae, the Fish-beetle of Newfoundland.
fish bird: Atlantic black-legged kittiwake or the northern
common tern, the appearance of which in coastal waters heralds the commencement of
fishing. See also STEARIN, TICKLACE.
T 31-64 Soon as [we] see the
first tickleace, first little bird come yer in the springyou would see 'em round
the rocksthat'd be our mark, see, tickleace or a sarun [stearin] is a fish-bird.
Time to get away now! Time to go on now!
fish board: wooden
platform serving as a table on a fishing boat.
M 69-17 [Cod-fish,
salt meat and potatoes were] all cooked while on the fishing grounds. It was all cooked
in a pot called a bo's kettle, a corruption of boat's kettle, and thrown out on the gang
boards, or a properly made board called a fish board. Each fisherman took his spot on the
board and ate away until it was all finished.
blister, sore or inflammation common among fishermen, whose skin is often in contact
with salt water; WATER PUP.
1912 CABOT 80 Poor Spracklin, his arms
and wrists set with fish boils, 'pups' in the vernacular, slept with his bandaged arms
raised clear of all touch.
fish book: ledger in which a
fish-dealer records quantity of cod received from a fisherman.
1976 CASHIN 50 First the fish had to be landed from the several
vessels, schooners or boats, culled by specially sworn cullers, tallied by a special
tallyman and each evening the tallyman came to the office and gave in his returns to Jim
Foley, who had charge of the large fish book. This book gave the names, the quantities in
quintals of the various qualities of fish received from each dealer or fisherman.
fish-box: wooden receptacle in fishing stage where cod are
placed for washing and salting after being headed, gutted and split.
T 43-64 There'd be what they call a cut-throat and a header and two
splitters, and possibly you'd have somebody keepin' what they call a fish box full, to
the end of the splittin' table. T 141/67-652 Now you rigs out and makes your
swabs and makes your fish boxes an' splittin' tables. 1971 NOSEWORTHY 198 ~ A square box,
open on one side and closed on three sides. Those boxes are kept ... on a stage, in rows
by the walls, where fishermen salt down each successive day's fish and keep them through
various stages of drying. 1975 BUTLER 32 So we landed my stuff and Charlie's down there
by Man-of-War Brook where he lived. [We] puts it on the wharf and turned a fish box over
fish breeches: cod-fish roe; BREECHES.
C 71-116 Fish britches is the name given to fish roe or
spawnquite a delicacy.
fish-cask: a type of wooden
barrel for the export of dried and salted cod.
T 90-64 The fish
cask: we had local names for these. The donkey was the one you put the large small fish
[in]. 1975 RUSSELL 52 How was I to know that a good firm birch hoop off a five quintal
fish cask wouldn't make a reasonable substitute for these crinolines? 1977 Decks
Awash vi (3), p. 50 I've come home in the fall and gotten a job across the Bay
cutting fish cask hoops. We'd have two bundles of 24 hoops at a time and you'd bring them
out, land them, cleave them, draw them, ring them, put them together, and after all that.
you'd get 20¢ a bundle, about 5¢ an hour.
colony: Newfoundland; see COLONY.
1869 MCCREA 119 So for this
time the authority of the Fish colony was handled ostensibly with success.
fish culler: one employed to sort dried and salted cod into
grades by cure, quality and size; CULLER.
 1899 Nfld Law
Reports 363 John Cuddihy, late of St John's, fish culler, who died at that place in
the year 1841 ... 1977 BURSEY 184 A fish culler joined her to cull the fish on the
fish doctor: crustacean parasite on cod (Aega
1925 Dial Notes v, 331 ~ A small marine animal
with hard shell. M 69-7 Fish doctors are (like] shrimps and are the colour of bright
orange. They average about an inch long [and] are found on codfish who are wounded.
fish dog: a skilled, experienced fisherman.
T 43/4-64 I moved to Fogo when I was eleven years old and went with
an old sea captain there, an old fisherman, fish dog. T 148-65 Now the next year I used
to go fishin' again with some other man, [and] another feller next year, old fish dog.
fish drier: see fish flake.
214-74 They used to sit down in under the fish driers all along the shore. You walk along
the shore under the fish driers we used to call them.
drum: a cylindrical wooden container in which dried cod are packed for shipment; DRUM
1936 DEVINE 104-5 Michael Lawlor, an apprentice cooper at Frank
Boggan's cooperage, was coming down to Harvey's premises with a cart load of fish drums.
1978 Evening Telegram 7 Aug, p. 6 [The arch] was constructed entirely of fish
drums (i.e. barrels for shipping codfish) to a height of thirty feet.
fish('s) face: the fleshy part of a cod's head eaten as a
delicacy; CHEEK, FACE, JOWL, SCULP.
1924 ENGLAND 315 Fishes'
faces. Cod heads. T 178-65 And they had cods' heads cooked, fishes' faces; that's what
they had cooked. 1971 Daily News 9 Nov, p. 4 I had tended to confuse cod cheeks
with the meat in the jawbone which bears the curious local name of 'fishes faces.'
fish-flake: elevated platform for drying salted cod; FLAKE.
 1971 BANKS 147 [St John's] is Built upon the side of a hill
facing the Harbour Containing two or three hundred houses & near as many fish Flakes
interspersed.  1968 THOMAS 70 Here are about Twenty Fishermen's Hutts, a Fish Room
and a Fish Flake. 1818 CHAPPELL 45 Numerous supporters. exactly resembling Kentish
hop-poles, are first fixed in the ground; over these is placed a horizontal platform
of similar poles; and the whole is finally overspread with a covering of dry fern. This
sort of structure is called. by the fishermen, a Fish Flake. 1873 Maritime
Mo i, p. 435 In almost every spot where a fishing boat can find shelter, the rough
stage and 'fish-flake,' for the landing and drying of cod, may be seen. 1912 Nfld
Qtly, Christmas, p. 26 Another feature of the place. striking to me, was the low fish
flake, which seems a very sensible idea. 1938 MACDERMOTT 36 The men were expert at
walking on such 'fish-flakes.'
fish('s) float: the air
bladder of a cod-fish; SOUND.
1895 J A Folklore viii, 289
It looks just like a vish's float.
fish-fly: rove beetle
1846 TOCQUE 278 Rove-beetles are
now swarming every fishing establishment; they are generally called fish-flies. T 370-67
This was a cloud, like the locusts in the bible, a cloud of what we call fish flies. 1979
NEMEC 274 The resulting stench and 'fish flies' can, with a southerly wind, become a
vexatious nuisance to the entire community.
sharp metal implement with one or two tines attached to a wooden handle and used to throw
cod from a boat to a 'stage'; PEW1.
1942 Grand Bank
U C School 35 Fish fork. T 14/20-64 He stuck the fork in the bottom of the boat, the
fish fork, and lay and rest on un, and fell down in the skiff asleep. 1971 NOSEWORTHY 199
~ A large steel fork with one [or] two prongs.
tube-shaped device with glass in bottom for viewing fish underwater.
1895 GRENFELL 71 The seine master stands, fish-glass in hand, high
on the bow of the seine skiff. 1956 Evening Telegram 12 Dec, p. 4 An important
ancillary piece of equipment in fishing the codseine was the 'fish glass,' more commonly
known today as the water glass, which was employed in peering under the surface to locate
shoals of cod. T 80/3-64 A fish-glass, sir, is like a length o' stove-pipe, an' he have a
eye-piece soldered on the top part of un so as he'd fit around your face. You'd see over
the bottom when you be lookin' down through un. 1971 CASEY 62-3 The cod seine was shot
from the skiff around a school of fish which had been located with a 'fish glass.'
fish halfpenny: a small nineteenth-century halfpenny piece.
1937 DEVINE 21 ~ A coin current in the sixties with the figure of a
split codfish on one side.
fish hawk: see fish dog.
1904 Nfld Qtly Dec, p. 18 He had in his day been a
successful fish-hawk and sealing skipper.
fish-house: (a) a
small building for storing dried and salted cod; (b) a movable box-like structure to
cover piled cod-fish.  1966 Evening Telegram 27 May, p. 6 Fish house. 1832 MCGREGOR
i, 171 The sea broke in upon the lands where fish-houses, flakes &c., were erected,
and occasioned vast loss and destruction. 1891 PACKARD 132 The fish-houses were rude
structures of one low shed, roofed with turf and built on piles, reminding us somewhat of
pictures of the ancient piledwellings of prehistoric Switzerland. T 36-64 Some people
haves fish-houses, little small houses made right square and turned down over these
faggots, with handles on 'em where you can lift 'em off an' on. M 69-27 As the fish
dried, it was gradually made up in larger piles, and fish houses (wooden boxes made with
a steep roof so the rain would run off) placed over them to prevent rain from wetting the
fish again. 1970 PARSONS 40 Most of the fish houses at The Point were all built in the
last few years with new lumber, and the whole place had a texture far ahead of many other
places on the coast.
fish killer: a fisherman, esp
a'skipper,' known for catching great quantities of fish.
Tribune Christmas No 15 Even when the 'jowlers'the big
fish-killerswere successful, and had money on the merchants' hands, they were no
better off. 1928 Nfld Qtly Oct, p. 31 His early life was first spent with his
brother at the cod fishery until he became Master himself and for a number of years took
a foremost place among the big fish killers of this country. 1936 SMITH 29 [We] arrived
at Ramah at dark on Saturday evening. There were some six or seven vessels there from
Bonavista Bay, mostly Barbours, thorough fishermen and fish-killers. T 141-652 He was a
real fish killer. 1975 BUTLER 51 George Rodway was the biggest fish killer in Placentia
Bay in his day.
fish-lead: lead weight used in
hook-and-line fishing for cod; LEAD1.
T 203-65 That's a
fish lead for weightdroppin' to bottom.
compartment in a boat for stowing the catch; LOCKER.
WILSON 338 In removing to our stations, our conveyance was a fishing-boat, our luggage
would be stowed in the fish-lockers, and covered with a tarpaulin to keep it from the
fish-loft: area of a fishing-stage for storing dried
cod; cp LOFT.
 1973 KELLY 27 Our morning congregation
assembled in the fish-loft of the Messrs Hunt. M 68-24 The men gather in fish-lofts,
wood-stores, etc, to hear and tell their famous tall tales or work interests. 1972 MURRAY
249 When fish had dried to a certain stage, it was stored in the 'fish store' or 'fish
loft' for a few days, 'to work.'
fish-maker: person engaged
in curing cod on the flakes.
T 43-64 The old people used to say
two for onethat was the way they'd weigh it out to the fish-makers. T 194/7-65 I
had to wire the merchant and ask if he would be good enough to go around to the
fish-makers and pay 'em in advance for so many quintals. M 71-94 We used to have so high
as twenty-five or thirty fish-makers.
process of curing cod-fish; cp MAKE.
1891 Holly Branch 12
The crew were mostly on the shareshalf their fishand paid so much for
fishmaking. 1936 SMITH 128 We spread our first fish, the weather being fairly good for
fish-making. T 141/68-652 You wouldn't use birch rine, not for fish-makin'
very much. 1977 BUTLER 60 When men were too old to continue fishing, the only way they
could earn a few dollars was fish-making (washing and drying codfish) for merchants on
their own private fishing rooms, at twenty-five cents per quintal.
fish merchant: see MERCHANT.
fish-mouth cap: a knitted cap covering most of the head.
T 94-64 They used to make caps, fish-mouth caps for the
winter-time, and a big piece goin' down here make a scarf and all, for the woods.
fish('s) pea(s): small portion of the viscera of a cod-fish,
eaten as a delicacy; CHITLINGS.
1971 NOSEWORTHY 199 Fishes pea,
fish pea, fishy pea. Small, pink or red, edible viscera in the stomach of a codfish,
shaped like a pair of pants.
fish-pen: wooden bin for
salting cod in a fishing-stage.
M 68-20 The day's catch was
brought in and taken to the stage [and] gutted, split and washed. Then it was spread out
in the fish-pen and salted.
fish-pile: a stack of split and
salted cod at various stages of the drying process; FAGGOT n, PILE n.
1861 DE BOILIEU 37 When sufficiently dry, a fine warm day is chosen
to lay the fish out, singly, on a large stage; and during the hottest hours they are made
up into a 'fish pile,'which is a large quantity of dry fish, built up in the form
of a round haystack.  1930 COAKER 26 We respectfully contend that rinding trees to
provide covering for fish piles or other uses should be prohibited.
fish-pipe: oesophagus of a seal.
CARROLL 35 I procured several of these and sent the same to Scotland to have them
dressed, and ascertained that the gullet or fish pipes of all seals would make beautiful
fish pound: wooden compartment, or
container, in which cod are placed during the curing process; POUND.
P 102-60 If fine they were spread out again and in the evening
taken to the fish pound. M 65-9 ~ A large square wooden container used by the bank
fishermen in which to wash their salted fish. Q 67-11 ~ area of stage divided by boards
for salting fish.
fish prong: see fish-fork above;
P 102-60 A shore crew would unload [the lighters] with
fish prongs on top of the stage-head. T 84-64 I had a gaff that was made out of a fish
prong; he was a nice slender gaff, and the start on it was exactly the same as a fish
prong. 1975 Evening Telegram 2 July, p. 3 Normally, one good-sized cod would fill
this fish prong, but Petty Harbour fisherman Richard Clements shows just how many small
fish are being caught in the traps.
self-satisfied because of a large catch of cod or good profits from the fishery.
1936 SMITH 84 I was beginning to feel lively, and 'fish proud,'
having secured 20 quintals in two days. C 75-28 'Fish proud' is applied to a man who has
made a good season of fishing. and he praises himself on a job well done.
fish room: (a) see fish-house (a) above; (b) see
FISHING ROOM; ROOM.
 1976 O'NEILL ii, 724 The Justice of the
Peace for Harbour Main, Charles Garland, was ordered to fine Katem 'the sum of fifty
pounds, and to demolish the said fish-room or store-room where mass was said. and I do
likewise order the said Michael Katem to sell all the possessions he had or holds in this
harbour.' 1765 WILLIAMS 9 [The Irish] were in Possession of above three Quarters of the
Fish Rooms and Harbours of the Island. 1924 ENGLAND 255 'The planter's eye spreads the
water horse.' (The boss of a fish room gets the fish quickly spread.)
fish scale: a diminutive five-cent silver coin minted
1865-1947 (P 133-58).
fish-screw: a device for packing
dried cod in 'drums' tightly before shipment (1883 Fish Exhibit Cat4
1975 BUTLER 70 A fish screw was an iron stand set up on the
floor of the fish store. A large screw was placed in the center of the metal stand with
four handles. The drum of fish would be placed under the screw and four men would turn
fish stage: an elevated structure at the
water's edge comprising wharf and rooms for the reception and processing of fish, storage
of gear, etc; STAGE.
1842 BONNYCASTLE ii, 165 It is impossible in
so scattered a population, with such amazing extent of fishing bank and shore, that he
whose establishment is in St John's, or in one of the out-harbours or settlements, could
attend to the large import and export trade upon which he subsists, and at the same time
employ himself or his clerks on a fish stage in twenty different places, or in perhaps a
hundred boats at sea.  1973 KELLY 17 We were, therefore, kept prisoners in our
unsavoury mooring-place, between two fish-stages, in this narrow harbour. [c1900] 1978
RLS 8, p. 25 ~ a shed near waters edge covered usually with sticks & rinds or
bows where fish is landed from the boats, & then split & headed at Splitting
table, before being salted into bulk in the stage.
a structure or area of a fishing-stage or merchant's premises in which dried cod is
placed ready for collection or export; STORE.
Evening Telegram 27 May, p. 6 [To be sold:] dry goods store, net loft ... cook
room, fisherman's house, fish store, salt store, small salmon plantation. 1904 Nfld
Qtly Dec, p. 17 Not infrequently a sail loft, or the upper storey of a fish store was
dubbed with the exalted name of a school. 1942 Little Bay Islands 12 James built a
new store where the Company's fish store now is. 1975 BUTLER 70 A fish screw was an iron
stand set up on the floor of the fish store. 1977 BURSEY 95 The gallery of the fish-store
a two story structure was lined by a cheering crowd.
ticket: record of a fisherman's landings, given him by dealer as a receipt for later
payment; WEIGHT NOTE.
M 67-10 When their turn came the fish were
hoisted, weighed and fishermen given a fish-ticket. On this ticket the number of pounds.
the kind of fish and the value were marked.
1979 TIZZARD 88 When [the drying cod-fish] was
taken up in the evening it would be covered with a tarpaulin... Some [fishermen] used
fish tops, a little house to cover two or three quintals of fish when in a pile.
fish trade: collectively, the commercial enterprise of the
fishery; the fish merchants; TRADE.
 1895 PROWSE 188 Amongst
the Trades not yet lost is the Newfoundland fish trade. 1765 WILLIAMS 11 Even some went
so far as to think Boston in New England a very convenient Place to carry
on the Fish Trade. 1972 NEMEC 164 The potential threat posed by 'the Union,' as it is
called, to the traditional control of 'the fish trade' over prices...
fish tub: a 'puncheon,' sawn in half, used to hold split cod
in salt; cpTUB.
T 36/8--64 Puncheon tubs. anywhere from eighty to
one hundred and ten gallons, would be sawed in two halves for fish tubs. 1979 TIZZARD 291
The fish tub was a half of a beef or pork barrel. The fish tub full meant that we would
have caught a half a quintal of codfish when dried, fifty six pounds.
fish weather: overcast, damp and chill weather; cp CAPLIN
1906 DUNCAN 15 It was 'fish weather,' as the Ruddy Cove men
saygray, cold and misty.
fish weight: one of the iron
objects used in the weighing of dried cod (P 245-71).
P 188-78 The
fish-weights would also be used by the drivers to tether the horse and box-car to.