oyster

Definitions

  • How I did wish he could have had some of my scolloped oysters, and jell-cake, and tarts
    How I did wish he could have had some of my scolloped oysters, and jell-cake, and tarts
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v oyster gather oysters, dig oysters
    • n oyster marine mollusks having a rough irregular shell; found on the sea bed mostly in coastal waters
    • n oyster a small muscle on each side of the back of a fowl
    • n oyster edible body of any of numerous oysters
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Additional illustrations & photos:

A 17th-century lime kiln excavated at Jamestown. In it oyster shells from the James River were burned for making lime. The iron hoops which supported the arched top of the kiln buckled from the intense heat A 17th-century lime kiln excavated at Jamestown. In it oyster shells from the James River were burned for making...
Making lime from oyster shells in a kiln, about 1625. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.) Making lime from oyster shells in a kiln, about 1625. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)
Group showing a starfish attacking an oyster; soft shelled clams; hermit crabs; fiddler crabs, etc Group showing a starfish attacking an oyster; soft shelled clams; hermit crabs; fiddler crabs, etc
Persian with Oyster Persian with Oyster

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: An oyster can change its gender
    • Oyster A name popularly given to the delicate morsel contained in a small cavity of the bone on each side of the lower part of the back of a fowl.
    • Oyster (Zoöl) Any marine bivalve mollusk of the genus Ostrea. They are usually found adhering to rocks or other fixed objects in shallow water along the seacoasts, or in brackish water in the mouth of rivers. The common European oyster (Ostrea edulis), and the American oyster (Ostrea Virginiana), are the most important species.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Pearls are rarely found in North American oysters
    • n oyster An edible bivalve mollusk of the family Ostreidæ, such as Ostrea edulis, the common species of Europe, and O. virginica, that of the Atlantic coast of the United States. The species are very numerous, and are found in all temperate and tropical countries, in salt and brackish water; there are also many fossil species. The shell is very irregular, both inequivalve and inequilateral, with one valve flattened and the other more concavo-convex, both rough outside and nacreous inside. Each valve has one purplish eye or spot, showing where the single adductorial muscle is attached, oysters being thus monomyarian. The gristly button-shaped body in the flesh is this ligament. The soft greenish substance corresponds to a liver. The fluted layers around a part of the body are the gills or breathing-organs. Oysters have sex, and are very prolific. They spawn in north temperate countries in May and June, during which period and for some time afterward they are not so good for food; whence the common saying that oysters are not eatable in those months which have no r in their names. The spawn or fry is called spat or spet. Oysters are now very extensively cultivated, the resulting stock being superior to the natural oyster. Starfishes and some carnivorous gastropods (see borer) are among the great obstacles to success with which oyster-culture has to contend. Oysters feed upon a great many different aquatic organisms of minute size. In confinement they eat corn-meal greedily. See cuts under ciborium, integropalliate, and Ostrea.
    • n oyster One of many other bivalves of the same order, but of a different family. Thus, the pearl-oyster belongs to the Aviculidæ.
    • n oyster The oyster-shaped bit of dark meat in the front hollow of the side-bone of a turkey or similar bird.
    • n oyster Figuratively, some profit or advantage which one may seize and hold.
    • n oyster Among packers, steamed oysters packed in hermetically sealed cans: a trade-name.
    • oyster To engage in oyster-fishing; take oysters in any way.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: An oyster can change it's sex a number of times during its life.
    • n Oyster ois′tėr a well-known bivalve shellfish, used as food
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Quotations

  • Theodore Roosevelt
    Theodore%20Roosevelt
    “Get action. Seize the moment. Man was never intended to become an oyster.”
  • Woody Allen
    Woody%20Allen
    “I will not eat oysters. I want my food dead -- not sick, not wounded -- dead.”
  • Jonathan Swift
    Jonathan%20Swift
    “It was a bold person that first ate an oyster.”
  • Andrew Carnegie
    Andrew%20Carnegie
    “The first man gets the oyster, the second man gets the shell.”

Idioms

World is your oyster - When the world is your oyster, you are getting everything you want from life.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OF. oistre, F. huître, L. ostrea, ostreum, Gr. 'o`streon; prob. akin to 'ostre`on bone, the oyster being so named from its shell. Cf. Osseous Ostracize
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. oistre (Fr. huître)—L. ostrea—Gr. ostreon, an oyster—osteon, a bone.

Usage

In literature:

The oysters at his feet aside impatiently he shoved, For turtle and his mother were the only things he loved.
"The Book of Humorous Verse" by Various
Boil 1/2 a pint of milk and 1/2 a pint of oyster juice, remove the scum, throw in the oysters, add 2 tablespoonfuls of butter, salt and pepper.
"365 Luncheon Dishes" by Anonymous
Most of the houses on Staten Island are built by fishermen who take large quantities of oysters.
"A Journey to America in 1834" by Robert Heywood
We have rather more serious things than oysters to think about just now.
"The World Peril of 1910" by George Griffith
Only fifty thousand, mind yer, and nothin' but his bare word for it that there was so much as a single oyster in the place!
"Turned Adrift" by Harry Collingwood
They rot the oysters as you do the mussels.
"The Lady and the Pirate" by Emerson Hough
Five or six miles to the west is Blue Point, of oyster fame, in connection with which a curious tradition is extant.
"Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 22, November, 1878" by Various
He gave us a good deal of curious information about the oyster.
"A Yacht Voyage Round England" by W.H.G. Kingston
Not seeing any oysters, she asks him if he has forgotten the oysters.
"Peck's Sunshine Being a Collection of Articles Written for Peck's Sun, Milwaukee, Wis. - 1882" by George W. Peck
They performed the rite of placing the oysters on the table and retired.
"Black Oxen" by Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton
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In poetry:

And there is no end, no end of it.
I shall never grow old. New oysters
Shriek in the sea and I
Glitter like Fontainebleu
"Gigolo" by Sylvia Plath
"O oysters!" moaned the Carpenter,
And that was all he said,
As on the coolest piece of rock
He laid his aching head.
The Walrus, too, refrained from speech,
He was already dead.
"Avenged!" by P G Wodehouse
"O Carpenter," the Walrus said,
"Life's joys soon disappear.
There seem to be no oysters left,
We've swept the table clear."
The Carpenter said nothing but
"I'm feeling precious queer."
"Avenged!" by P G Wodehouse
The Moral of the tale is: Bah!
Nous avons change tout cela.
No clear idea I hope to strike
Of what our nicest girl is like,
But she whose best young man I am
Is not an oyster, nor a clam!
"How Rudeness And Kindness Were Justly Rewarded" by Guy Wetmore Carryl
On PETER'S portion oysters grew - a delicacy rare,
But oysters were a delicacy PETER couldn't bear.
On SOMERS' side was turtle, on the shingle lying thick,
Which SOMERS couldn't eat, because it always made him sick.
"Etiquette" by William Schwenck Gilbert
It was enough: they felt they could more pleasantly get on,
For (ah, the magic of the fact!) they each knew ROBINSON!
And Mr. SOMERS' turtle was at PETER'S service quite,
And Mr. SOMERS punished PETER'S oyster-beds all night.
"Etiquette" by William Schwenck Gilbert

In news:

Oysters, mussels put Kachemak Bay on the mariculture map by Sepp Jannotta Staff Writer.
Oyster farmer Kevin Sidelinger prepares to hoist one of the nets on Friday at the site of his mariculture lease near Halibut Cove.
The Oceans Alaska Marine Science Center has barely opened its doors and tiny oysters are already growing at the new floating facility at George Inlet in Ketchikan.
A fast-growing cadre of Chesapeake Bay oyster farmers are banking on it.
In a Nov 9, 2010 file photo, Tommy Leggett holds a group of oysters as he talks about the oysters restoration project for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in Gloucester Point, Va.
Chef Ira Gallon from The Hangout made a delicious oyster recipe.
And oh, the glories I have missed: an iced tray of oysters for 40 cents each, a tribute wall to local music icons Big Star, a mean martini from bartender Chuck Schafler, and a historical cache few restaurants in Memphis can match.
The world's mine oyster, but it's not vegan.
"Only eat oysters in months that end with an R," or so the saying goes.
Rock's wayward sons headline Milford Oyster Festival.
My family likes to eat oysters on crackers for a snack.
Exelon won't say how long it expects Oyster Creek to be offline.
Good news for oyster eaters—sort of.
Uncle Frank's oyster dressing .
Oyster Stuffing , Friends A Must For Thanksgiving Swap.
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In science:

Various data sets from pacific oysters suggest a value for α approximately around 1.4.
Recent progress in coalescent theory
Atlantic cod or Pacific oyster (Eldon and Wakeley [EW06]).
Renormalisation of hierarchically interacting Cannings processes
Mitochondrial dna variation in introduced populations of pacific oyster, crassostrea gigas, in british columbia.
The total external branch length of Beta-coalescents
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