Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Stockfish.

E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
I will beat thee like a stockfish. Moffet and Bennet, in their Health’s Improvement (p. 262), inform us that dried cod, till it is beaten, is called buckhorn, because it is so tough; but after it has been beaten on the stock, it is termed stockfish. (In French, etriller quelqu’un, a double carillon, “to a pretty tune.”)   1
        “Peace! thou wilt be beaten like a stockfish else.”—Jonson: Every Man in his Humour, iii. 2.



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