Definition of kipper
1 : a male salmon or sea trout during or after the spawning season
2 : a kippered herring or salmon
kipper was our Word of the Day on 11/03/2013. Hear the podcast!
Did You Know?
Did you know? An American visiting Scotland once reported to The New York Times that "a kipper is prepared by taking a herring fresh (no more than 24 hours out of the water), plump, oily (15 percent or more fat content is best), soaking it in a saltwater brine and smoking it slowly over a fire composed of oak chips." This process of creating a kipper (called kippering) goes back to at least the 18th century, but the word kipper dates all the way back to before the 12th century, when it was spelled cypera and was used specifically to mean "a spawning salmon." Cypera is related to the Old English word for copper (coper) and may have been suggested by the salmon's color.
Origin and Etymology of kipper
Middle English kypre, from Old English cypera; akin to Old English coper copper
First Known Use: before 12th centurySee Words from the same year
First Known Use of kipper
KIPPER Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of kipper for English Language Learners
: a herring that has been preserved with salt and then smoked
Seen and Heard
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