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[too-nuh, tyoo-] /ˈtu nə, ˈtyu-/
noun, plural (especially collectively) tuna (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) tunas.
any of several large food and game fishes of the family Scombridae, inhabiting temperate and tropical seas.
any of various related fishes.
Also called tuna fish. the flesh of the tuna, used as food.
Origin of tuna1
1880-85, Americanism; < American Spanish, variant of Spanish atún < Arabic al the + tūn < Greek thýnnos tunny Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for tunafish


noun (pl) -na, -nas
Also called tunny. any of various large marine spiny-finned fishes of the genus Thunnus, esp T. thynnus, chiefly of warm waters: family Scombridae. They have a spindle-shaped body and widely forked tail, and are important food fishes
any of various similar and related fishes
Word Origin
C20: from American Spanish, from Spanish atún, from Arabic tūn, from Latin thunnus tunny, from Greek


any of various tropical American prickly pear cacti, esp Opuntia tuna, that are cultivated for their sweet edible fruits
the fruit of any of these cacti
Word Origin
C16: via Spanish from Taino
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for tunafish



1881, from American Spanish (California) tuna, from Spanish atun, from Arabic tun, from Latin thunnus "tunny" (see tunny).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for tunafish


n,n phr

  1. The vulva; cunt
  2. A woman; a female

[1970s+ Black; fr the similarity, recognized esp in black slang, between the odor of the vulva and that of fish or other seafood; perhaps somehow influenced by Tiny Tuna, homosexual slang for a sailor as a sex object]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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tunafish in Technology

humour, operating system
In hackish lore, refers to the mutated punchline of an age-old joke to be found at the bottom of the manual pages of "tunefs(8)" in the original 4.2BSD distribution. The joke was removed in later releases once commercial sites started using 4.2. Tunefs relates to the "tuning" of file-system parameters for optimum performance, and at the bottom of a few pages of wizardly inscriptions was a "BUGS" section consisting of the line "You can tune a file system, but you can't tunafish". Variants of this can be seen in other BSD versions, though it has been excised from some versions by humourless management droids. The [nt]roff source for SunOS 4.1.1 contains a comment apparently designed to prevent this: "Take this out and a Unix Demon will dog your steps from now until the "time_t's wrap around."
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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