1) A young or small cod.

1396 De coles et codlynges cxl, de quibus xl coles, pret. xiijs iiijd et c codlynges, pret. xxxs, Whitby. The ‘coles’ were doubtless coal-fish, a word not noted in the OED before 1603. It is said to be so called because of ‘its dusky pigment which tinges its skin, and soils the fingers like moist coal’. The codling may have been the source of a by-name: 1297 De Roberto Codelingge, Cowlam. Reaney noted examples from 1208 but only in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

spellings coal-fish
places Whitby Cowlam
dates 1297 1396

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