squirrelfish

[skwur-uh l-fish, skwuhr- or, esp. British, skwir-]
noun, plural (especially collectively) squir·rel·fish, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) squir·rel·fish·es.
  1. any of several brightly colored, nocturnal fishes of the family Holocentridae, inhabiting shallow waters of tropical reefs, especially the reddish Holocentrus ascensionis of the West Indies, armed with sharp spines and scales.

Origin of squirrelfish

First recorded in 1795–1805; perhaps after the sound it makes out of water, likened to a squirrel's bark
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for squirrelfish

squirrelfish

noun plural -fish or -fishes
  1. any tropical marine brightly coloured teleost fish of the family Holocentridae

Word Origin for squirrelfish

C18: so called because it can make a squirrel-like noise
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