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davidram53's avatar

Why are gold fish called gold fish if they are really orange?

Asked by davidram53 (1points) February 28th, 2008 from iPhone
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4 Answers

johnny0313x's avatar

I think some goldfish are more orange but have a goldish shine to them. Alot of things in life are represented by a general color when technically they are somethng else. If you are caucasian (I think I spent that really wrong) you are called white when the reality of it is you r u not white more of a tan or peach tone. Just an example though.

theredjawa's avatar

who knows? Some things just have weird names. Catfish, sandwich, starfish, beaver, hamburger, etc.

artemisdivine's avatar

might be due to royalty (i figured it might tie in this way)

In 1162, the Empress of the Song Dynasty ordered the construction of a pond to collect the red and gold variety of those carp. By this time, people outside the imperial family were forbidden to keep goldfish of the gold (yellow) variety, yellow being the imperial color. This probably is the reason why there are more orange goldfish than yellow goldfish, even though the latter are genetically easier to breed.[5]

The occurrence of other colors was first recorded in 1276. The first occurrence of fancy tailed goldfish was recorded in the Ming dynasty. In 1502, goldfish were introduced to Japan, where the Ryukin and Tosakin varieties were developed.

In 1854, goldfish were introduced to Portugal and from there to other parts of Europe. Goldfish were first introduced to North America around 1850 and quickly became popular in the United States.[6]


For example, “shark” comes from the Greek Karckarios and the Latin carcharus, which mean “sharp teeth”! Does the porpoise resemble a hog a little bit? It gets its name from the Latin words porcus piscex, which means “hog-fish”. The swordfish is an easy one. The upper jaw of this fish really looks like a sword.

The whale is simply the modern spelling of an Anglo-Saxon word whale. The sunfish is so named because it has a round shape like the sun. That catfish got its name because of its large, glaring eyes. Is there any question as to how the flying fish got its name?

The “sole” comes from the Latin word solea, which means “the bottom”. Herring comes from an Anglo-Saxon word haring, which means “a multitude”, or “many”, and of course the herring is always found in multitudes.

Have you ever examined a mackerel? Then, you probably noticed the spots on it. The word “mackerel” comes from the Danish word mackreel which means “spots”! A “smelt” got its name because it has a peculiar smell.

What’s interesting about the salmon? The way it jumps over obstacles on its way upstream. So the word “salmon” comes from the Latin salmo which means a “leaping fish”! The trout loves to go after bait. And “trout” comes from the Latin trocta, which means “the greedy fish”.

tedibear's avatar

@artemisdivine – wow! Lots of good info on fish names!

I wonder if some of it has to do with the way their color may appear depending on the light and the water. Just as the Golden Gate Bridge doesn’t look golden until the sun is on it the right way.

But I like artemisdivine’s answer better…

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