AskDefine | Define trout

Dictionary Definition



1 flesh of any of several primarily freshwater game and food fishes
2 any of various game and food fishes of cool fresh waters mostly smaller than typical salmons

User Contributed Dictionary



Etymology 1

From truht ("trout"), in part from truite, from tructa, perhaps from τρώκτης, from τρώγω, from base *tere- ("to rub, to turn").


  1. Any of several species of fish in Salmonidae, closely related to salmon, and distinguished by spawning more than once.
    Many anglers consider trout to be the archetypical quarry.
  2. In the context of "UK|pejoratives": An elderly woman of dubious sensibilities.
    Look, you silly old trout; you can't keep bringing home cats! You can't afford the ones you have!
  • Albanian: troftë
  • Bosnian: pastrmka
  • Breton: dluzh
  • Croatian: pasrtva
  • Czech: pstruh
  • Danish: örred g Danish
  • Dutch: forel
  • Finnish: taimen, kirjolohi, nieriä, rautu
  • French: truite
  • German: Forelle
  • Hungarian: pisztráng
  • Icelandic: silungur
  • Interlingua: tructa
  • Italian: trota
  • Japanese: (マス, masu)
  • Latvian: forele
  • Macedonian: пастрмка
  • Norwegian: ørret
  • Polish: pstrąg
  • Portuguese: truta
  • Russian: форель
  • Serbian:
    Cyrillic: пастрмка
    Roman: pastrmka
  • Slovene: postrv
  • Spanish: trucha
  • Turkish: alabalık
  • Ukrainian: форель
  • Welsh: brithyll
  • West Frisian: forel

Etymology 2

Mid 80's BBS message boards, imitative of "thirty lashes with a wet noodle" only stinkier. Almost certainly from Monty Python's The Fish-Slapping Dance (1972) although the fish in that sketch was a halibut.


  1. To (figuratively) slap someone with a slimy, stinky, wet trout; to admonish jocularly.

Extensive Definition

Trout is the common name given to a number of species of freshwater fish belonging to the Salmonidae family.
All fish called trout are members of the subfamily Salmoninae. The name is commonly used for species in three of the seven genera in the sub-family: Salmo,Atlantic species; Salvelinus,which includes fish also sometimes called char or charr. Pacific species; Oncorhynchus, Fish referred to as trout include:
Trout are usually found in cool (50 -60 degrees), clear streams and lakes, although many of the species have anadromous strains as well. Young trout are referred to as troutlet or troutling. They are distributed naturally throughout North America, northern Asia and Europe. Several species of trout were introduced to Australia and New Zealand by amateur fishing enthusiasts in the 19th century, effectively displacing and endangering several upland native fish species. The introduced species included brown trout from England and rainbow trout from California. The rainbow trout were a steelhead strain, generally accepted as coming from Sonoma Creek. The rainbow trout of New Zealand still show the steelhead tendency to run up rivers in winter to spawn.The speckled trout, a very famous trout is found in the Gulf of Mexico, and in many other places in the United States.
Trout have fins entirely without spines, and all of them have a small adipose (fatty) fin along the back, near the tail. There are many species, and even more populations that are isolated from each other and morphologically different. However, since many of these distinct populations show no significant genetic differences, what may appear to be a large number of species is considered a much smaller number of distinct species by most ichthyologists.
The trout found in the eastern United States are a good example of this. The brook trout, the aurora trout, and the (extinct) silver trout all have physical characteristics and colorations that distinguish them, yet genetic analysis shows that they are one species, Salvelinus fontinalis.
Lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush), like brook trout, actually belong to the char genus. Lake trout inhabit many of the larger lakes in North America, and live much longer than rainbow trout, which have an average maximum lifespan of 7 years. Lake trout can live many decades, and can grow to more than 30 kg (66 pounds).
Trout generally feed on soft bodied aquatic invertebrates, such as flies, mayflies, caddisflies, stoneflies, and dragonflies. In lakes, various species of zooplankton often form a large part of the diet. In general, trout longer than about 30 cm prey almost exclusively on fish, where they are available. Adult trout will devour fish exceeding 1/3 their length.
As a group, trout are somewhat bony, but the flesh is generally considered to be appetizing. Additionally, they provide a good fight when caught with a hook and line, and are sought after recreationally. Because of their popularity, trout are often raised on fish farms and planted into heavily fished waters, in an effort to mask the effects of overfishing. While they can be caught with a normal rod and reel, fly fishing is a distinctive method developed primarily for trout, and now extended to other species. Farmed trout and char are also sold commercially as food fish.
Trout that live in different environments can have dramatically different colorations and patterns. Mostly, these colors and patterns form as camouflage, based on the surroundings, and will change as the fish moves to different habitats. Trout in, or newly returned from the sea, can look very silvery, while the same "genetic" fish living in a small stream or in an alpine lake could have pronounced markings and more vivid coloration. It is virtually impossible to define a particular color pattern as belonging to a specific breed; however, in general, wild fish are claimed to have more vivid colors and patterns.


  • Trout and Salmon of North America, Robert J. Behnke, Illustrated by Joseph R. Tomelleri, The Free Press, 2002, hardcover, 359 pages, ISBN 0-7432-2220-2
  • Trout Science,, 2000, knowledgebase article

External links

trout in Old English (ca. 450-1100): Sceota
trout in Bulgarian: Пъстърва
trout in Catalan: Truita de riu
trout in Czech: Pstruh
trout in Chuvash: Ăркай
trout in German: Forelle
trout in Spanish: Trucha
trout in Esperanto: Truto
trout in French: Truite
trout in Galician: Troita
trout in Korean: 송어류
trout in Ido: Truto
trout in Hebrew: טרוטה
trout in Dutch: Forel
trout in Japanese: マス
trout in Polish: Pstrąg
trout in Portuguese: Truta
trout in Russian: Форель
trout in Simple English: Trout
trout in Slovenian: Postrvi
trout in Chinese: 鳟鱼
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