1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Minnow
MINNOW (Leuciscus phoxinus), the smallest British fish of the Cyprinoid family, readily distinguished by its very minute scales. The ordinary name is derived from the common Indo-European word for “little” (cf. Lat., minor), and “minnow” is popularly identified with any tiny fish; in America it is given to small forms of the Gambusia and Notropis genera, &c. The British minnow abounds in lakes, rivers and brooks, swimming in schools, and shifting its ground in search of food, in the shape of every kind of animal and vegetable substance. It ranges from Scandinavia to south Europe, and from Ireland to north-east Asia, attaining an elevation of nearly 8000 ft. in the Alps. Its size varies from between 2 and 3 in. to as much as 4 or 5 in. The minnow is commonly used by anglers for bait, and is useful in ponds as food for trout, perch or pike.