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

  • n. A male salmon or seatrout during or shortly after the spawning season.
  • n. A herring or salmon that has been split, salted, and smoked.
  • transitive v. To prepare (fish) by splitting, salting, and smoking.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A split, salted and smoked herring.
  • n. An RAF World War II code name for patrols to protect fishing boats in the Irish and North Seas against attack from the air.
  • v. To prepare a herring or similar fish in that fashion.
  • adj. amorous
  • adj. lively; light-footed; nimble

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Amorous; also, lively; light-footed; nimble; gay; sprightly.
  • n. A salmon after spawning.
  • n. A salmon split open, salted, and dried or smoked; -- so called because salmon after spawning were usually so cured, not being good when fresh.
  • transitive v. To cure, by splitting, salting, and smoking.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Hooked or beaked, as a spent salmon. See the quotation.
  • n. The male salmon when spent after the spawning season.
  • n. A salmon detained in fresh water.
  • n. A kippered herring; a herring for kippering.
  • To prepare or cure, as salmon, herring, etc., by cleansing them well, giving them several dry rubbings of pepper and salt, and then drying them, either in the open air or artificially, by means of the smoke of peat or juniper-berries.
  • Sprightly; gay; light-footed.
  • n. A young man who has been initiated and is classed with the men of his tribe. See bora.

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

  • n. salted and smoked herring


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

Middle English kipre, from Old English cypera, spawning male salmon, probably from cyperen, of copper, from coper, copper (because of the fish's color during the spawning season); see copper1.



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  • "The kipper was 'invented' in the 1840s by John Wodger - split, salted and smoked for long-term preservation."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 283

    January 18, 2017