[bah-kuh-lou, bak-uh-; Spanish bah-kah-lah-aw]
noun, plural bacalaos [bah-kuh-louz, bak-uh-; Spanish bah-kah-lah-aws] . Spanish or Spanish-American Cookery.
codfish, especially when dried and salted.
a dish of this, cooked with a tomato sauce, olives, garlic, etc.

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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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