cavalla

noun
ca·​val·​la | \ kə-ˈva-lə How to pronounce cavalla (audio) \
plural cavalla or cavallas

Definition of cavalla

1 or less commonly cavally \ kə-​ˈva-​lē How to pronounce cavalla (audio) \ : any of various carangid fishes

First Known Use of cavalla

1624, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cavalla

borrowed from Spanish caballa "mackerel (Scomber scombrus or Scomber colias)," feminine derivative of caballo "horse," going back to Latin caballus "work horse, gelding" — more at cavalcade

Note: According to Joan Coromines (Diccionario crítico etimológico castellano e hispánico) Spanish caballa was originally applied to a species of flying fish, from its supposed resemblance to a horse. This seems somewhat unlikely, and in any case the application of animal names to fish varieties in other instances appears to lack obvious semantic motivation (compare redhorse).

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The first known use of cavalla was in 1624

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Dictionary Entries Near cavalla

cavalier seul

cavalla

cavalletti

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Cite this Entry

“Cavalla.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cavalla. Accessed 23 Sep. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on cavalla

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cavalla

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