jewfish

Phil Dondes: During a recent scuba diving trip in Key Largo, Florida, I came across a large fish (250lbs, 4.5' long). It turned out that I spotted a jewfish, the largest member of the grouper family. As I and my diving partner are Jewish, I thought it fitting that the only people in the diving expedition who saw the jewfish were in fact Jewish. I've been unable to learn of the origin of this fish's name. Could it possibly be biblical in nature or just a slang pronounciation of a European name. Any help you can provide regarding the origin of jewfish would be appreciated. Thanks in advance for your assistance.
Bill Doggett: The OED refers to the following quotation for the origin of the name: 1697 DAMPIER, Voy. (1729; I, 249) The Jew-fish is a very good Fish, and I judge so called by the English, because it hath Scales and Fins, therefore a clean Fish, according to the Levitical Law.


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