I was in a snack shop and reading the labels and came across "Thailand Sleeve Fish Slice" on what appeared to be a package of dried squid. I found limited results indicating that it does seem to refer to squid but very little else.

Sleeve fish on thefreedictionary.com

Webster's (looks like the source of the first)

Other results were suppliers or manufacturers of such snacks.

I'm interested in where the term comes from and if there is a difference or reason for its use instead of the more common "squid".

1 Answer 1


Uhm, well I do not know about the lingual history of the phrase but I think I have a fairly educated guess as to the reason for using it...

It lives in the water making it a fish in the loosest sense of the word and its anatomy resembles a tube covering its fleshy innards, making it constructed like a sleeve. I know this because I saw a rather perturbing youtube video of a Sushi Chef cutting up a live squid. Its a relatively literal description of the animal with all things considered, just very vaguely more original than shellfish. Please do not kill the messenger or even watch that video if you're squeamish...

Linked words use Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, 1913 for reference.

  • I can certainly see how "sleeve fish" can make sense, broken down into two parts. The fact that it is quite descriptive might give it an edge over "squid" if the other wasn't so widely used. I also think that there might be a link that the Chinese word for it contains the character for fish and most of the manufacturers using it are Chinese but since they didn't make it up, how the word came to be is still something to look into.
    – 21hr
    Jul 15, 2015 at 8:26

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