from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of various fishes of the family Stromateidae having tender oily flesh, especially Peprilus triacanthus of the North American Atlantic coast.
  • noun Any of various other fishes having oily flesh or slippery skin.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A name given to various fishes and other marine animals having a smooth and unctuous surface like butter.
  • noun A fish of the genus Murœnoides, especially M. gunnellus.
  • noun A serranoid fish, Enneacentrus punctatus. Also called nigger-fish.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) A name given to several different fishes, in allusion to their slippery coating of mucus, as the Stromateus triacanthus of the Atlantic coast, the Epinephelus punctatus of the southern coast, the rock eel, and the kelpfish of New Zealand.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Any of various species of fish having a slippery mucous coating, especially

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun any of numerous small flat Atlantic food fish having smooth skin
  • noun slippery scaleless food fish of the northern Atlantic coastal waters
  • noun small marine fish with a short compressed body and feeble spines


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Originally applied to a species of gunnel found in British waters, noted for its slippery coating of mucus.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From butter + fish.


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  • When you've cast your line and fail to catch these, do fellow anglers call you a butterfish fingers?

    April 13, 2009

  • Why, you're nothing but a clumsy oleaginoichthydactylist!

    April 13, 2009

  • Hah! I can't believe it's not any of numerous small flat Atlantic food fish having smooth skin.

    April 13, 2009

  • Don't you mean oleaginoichthydigitalist?

    April 13, 2009

  • Tee-hee, gangerh. A common mistake, but I think the term you are thinking of is oleaginopiscidigitalist.

    April 13, 2009

  • So is someone who noodles for catfish a ichthydactylist (ichthyodactylist?) or an piscidigitalist?

    April 13, 2009

  • Clumsy? No! Not sure what I was doing, mainly. Just all fish fingers and thumbs, really.

    April 14, 2009

  • That noodling for catfish link is clearly some kind of vile Sassenach propaganda. Certainly written by someone who had never been to Ireland, or had access to a map. As evidenced by reference to the non-existent "Lake Shannon"

    April 14, 2009

  • Perhaps Lake Shannon is a Mountweazel.

    April 14, 2009