1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Halibut

HALIBUT, or Holibut (Hippoglossus vulgaris), the largest of all flat-fishes, growing to a length of 10 ft. or more, specimens of 5 ft. in length and of 100 ℔ in weight being frequently exposed for sale in the markets. Indeed, specimens under 2 ft. in length are very rarely caught, and singularly enough, no instance is known of a very young specimen having been obtained. Small ones are commonly called “chicken halibut.” The halibut is much more frequent in the higher latitudes of the temperate zone than in its southern portion; it is a circumpolar species, being found on the northern coasts of America, Europe and Asia, extending in the Pacific southwards to California. On the British coasts it keeps at some distance from the shore, and is generally caught in from 50 to 150 fathoms. Its flesh is generally considered coarse, but it is white and firm, and when properly served is excellent for the table. The name is derived from “holy” (M.E. haly), and recalls its use for food on holy days.