1. a fish, especially a herring, that has been cured by splitting, salting, drying, and smoking.
  2. this method of curing fish.
  3. a male salmon during or after the spawning season.

verb (used with object)

  1. to cure (herring, salmon, etc.) by splitting, salting, drying and smoking.


  1. (of fish, esp herring) having been cleaned, salted, and smoked
  2. slang utterly defeated or outwitted


  1. a fish, esp a herring, that has been cleaned, salted, and smoked
  2. a male salmon during the spawning season
  3. Australian archaic, derogatory, slang an Englishman


  1. (tr) to cure (a fish, esp a herring) by salting and smoking


  1. a native Australian youth who has completed an initiation rite


  1. informal an adult who cannot afford to move away from his or her parents’ home

Old English cypera “male salmon,” perhaps related to coper “reddish-brown metal” (see copper), on resemblance of color. Another theory connects it to kip, name for the sharp, hooked lower jaw of the male salmon in breeding season, from Middle English kippen “to snatch, tug, pull.” The modern word usually refers to kippered herring, from a verb meaning “to cure a fish by cleaning, salting, and spicing it” (early 14c.). The theory is that this originally was done to salmon, hence the name.

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