Word Origin & History
"large blue shark," listed as 1727 in OED, from "The History of Japan," Eng. transl. of Engelbert Kaempfer's Ger. manuscript; however this is claimed by some to be an error, and some say Kaempfer's word represents Japanese makkô(-kujira) "sperm whale." But the description in the text fits neither
the shark nor the whale. The word is ult. from Maori mako "shark, shark's tooth," of uncertain etymology. If the 1727 is an error, the next entry is for 1820, from a book on New Zealand languages.