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.

how did the halibut get its name and where does the word halibut come from

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 for Born in New York, she loves interesting random facts from all over the world.