How did the Halibut get its name and Where does the word Halibut come from?

For the past six or seven hundred years, the common name in England for any of the flatfish, skate, flounder, plaice, turbot, or whatever, has been butt.

The most highly prized of all, the one formerly reserved for eating upon holy days, was the largest of the flatfish, so large that some run up to three or four hundred pounds and to seven or eight feet in length.

These, some five centuries ago, were termed haly (holy) butts, whence cometh our present spelling halibut.

But the eating of this “holy flounder” is no longer confined to feast days of the church.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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