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bacalao

[bah-kuh-lou, bak-uh-; Spanish bah-kah-lah-aw] /ˌbɑ kəˈlaʊ, ˌbæk ə-; Spanish ˌbɑ kɑˈlɑ ɔ/
noun, plural bacalaos
[bah-kuh-louz, bak-uh-; Spanish bah-kah-lah-aws] /ˌbɑ kəˈlaʊz, ˌbæk ə-; Spanish ˌbɑ kɑˈlɑ ɔs/ (Show IPA).
Spanish or Spanish-American Cookery.
1.
codfish, especially when dried and salted.
2.
a dish of this, cooked with a tomato sauce, olives, garlic, etc.
Origin of bacalao
1545-1555
1545-55; < Spanish bacal(l)ao, probably < Basque bakaiļao, perhaps, by metathesis, < Gascon, the presumed source of Old French cabellau, cabillau (French cabillaud) fresh codfish, equivalent to Gascon cabilh, cabelh (diminutive of cap head; see chief) + a suffix, alluding to the fish's prominent head; though Medieval Latin (Flanders) cabellauwus, the earliest attestation of the form (compare Middle Dutch cab(b)eliau, Dutch kabeljauw) suggests a non-Rom, N European origin
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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