Pilgrim Seasonings

Plymouth Colony Foodways: Notes and Recipes from a 17th Century Kitchen

Got Fish?

January 17th, 2013 by KM Wall

Carrying fish from the boat to the house

Once you catch the fish, you must clean the fish…..here’s some vocabulary to

Gut Fish.

Sampling of words that are just as good in the 17th century as the 21st - and by no means the last words on the subject

citings from the OED

BONE (V) – To take out the bones

1552 -  “Bonen, or plucke oute bones”

GARBAGE – To disembowel, to gut fish

1610 – “Pilchards are there taken, garbaged, salted, hanged in the smoke”

GILLS – 1519 ”Fysshes breth at theyr gyllys”

GUT (v) – to take the guts of (fish); to eviscerate

1599 “Lay it scaled and gutted sixe houres in salt”

GUTS – the inward parts or bowels

1580 – “garbishes or guttes of things”

FIN – an organ attached to the body of fishes to serve for steering and propelling in water

1599 – “The…fish had on every side a wing, and toward the taile two other lesser as it were finnes.”

SCALE – to remove scales from fish

1598 – “The fish you would rost would not be scaled”

VENT – n2 b – the anus, anal or excretory opening of animals, esp. certain non-mammalian, as fish – 1587


Fish head - the beard tells you it's a cod.....(Gadus morhua)


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One Response to “Got Fish?”

  1. carolina says:

    I’ve never cared for the word “eviscerate.” It sounds so brutal. I certainly hope no one ever eviscerates me!

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