remora

remora

[rem-er-uh]
noun
1.
any of several fishes of the family Echeneididae, having on the top of the head a sucking disk by which they can attach themselves to sharks, turtles, ships, and other moving objects.
2.
Archaic. an obstacle, hindrance, or obstruction.

Origin:
1560–70; < Latin: literally, delay, hindrance, derivative of remorārī to linger, delay, equivalent to re- re- + morārī to delay

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World English Dictionary
remora (ˈrɛmərə)
 
n
any of the marine spiny-finned fishes constituting the family Echeneidae. They have a flattened elongated body and attach themselves to larger fish, rocks, etc, by a sucking disc on the top of the head
 
[C16: from Latin, from re- + mora delay; an allusion to its alleged habit of delaying ships]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

remora
"sucking fish," 1567, from L. remora, lit. "delay, hindrance," from re- "back" + mora "delay;" so called because the fish were believed by the ancients to retard a vessel to which they attached themselves. Pliny writes that Antony's galley was delayed by one at the Battle of Actium. Sometimes called
in Eng. stayship or stopship.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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