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Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 14., The ancient name Menotomy and the river of that name. (search)
ry says, A particular use of alewife, probably in allusion to their corpulent appearance; the form aloof, as recorded in 1678, is said to be the Indian name of the fish, but is probably an error for alewife. But, as it is an American fish, the Indians doubtless had a name for it, and aloof is correct, the word alewife being the nearest in the language of the settlers to the Indian name aloof, and one with which they were more familiar, came to be used as the name of this fish. Grandpa Keeler says in Cape Cod Folks, They're very good, teacher, ale-whops are—very good—though they're bony as the—,they're 'tarnal bony, teacher. They're what we call herrin's in the winter. Bachelder Lot, here, was aa asking Captain Sartell what kind oa fish them was that it's recorded in the Scripters to aa fed the multitude, and then took up so many baskets full oa leavin's; and the Captain told him that as to exactly what manner of fish them was he hadn't sufficient acquaintance with the <