King of the Sea
(The). The herring.
“The head of an average-sized whale is from fifteen to sixteen feet
[about one-third the length], and the lips open some six or eight
feet; yet to such a mouth there is scarcely any throat, not
sufficiently large to allow a herring to pass down it. This little
scaly fellow [the herring], some fourteen inches in length, would choke
a monster whale, and is hence called `the king of the sea.” —C. Thomson: Autobiography, p. 132.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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