General English


  • A round oily fish, Clupea harengus, with a wide distribution. The upper surface is steel blue and the underside silvery white. Sizes range from 20 to 40 cm in length. It has rather a lot of fine bones and may be cooked whole or filleted and is also sweet and/or sour pickled, salted and smoked. Very popular in Northern Europe and an important source of EFAs.


  • noun a common sea fish

Origin & History of “herring”

just as the hare is probably the ‘grey animal’, so the herring could well be the ‘grey fish’. Old English hǣring goes back to a prehistoric west Germanic *khēringgaz, in which the first syllable could represent the ancestor of English hoar ‘silvery-grey’ – the colour of the herring. French hareng comes from a variant of the West Germanic word.