An A-Z list of the most common fish names in French and English

An A-Z list of the most common fish names in French and English

Seafood is extremely popular in French cuisine, and the Catholic tradition of eating fish on a Friday still lingers in some areas of France, particularly on the French coast where fishing is still a part of daily life.

Whether you’re at a local fishermen’s stall in a seaside town, a local market, fishmonger, or when trying to navigate your way around a French menu in a restaurant, you may sometimes struggle to identify your favourite seafood dishes by name. We’ve assembled a list of the most popular fish, with their names in French and English. You’ll be confident picking out your poisson préféré in no time!

A dictionary of French fish names

Abadèche rouge – type of sea bass
Abusseau – type of sea smelt
Aigle de mer – skate
Aiglefin/ Lieu – Haddock (if smoked) – Haddock
Ailes de Raie – Skate wings
Amandes de Mer – Dog Cockle (type of Clam)
Anchois – Anchovies
Anguille – Eel
Araignee de mer – Spider crab
Baleine – Whale
Bar or Loup de mer – Bass / Sea Bass
Barbue – Brill
Brochet – Pike
Brochet de la Mer – Barracuda
Brocheton – Young Pike
Bulots – Whelks
Cabillaud – Cod
Calamars – Squid
Carrelet or Plie – Plaice
Couteaux – Razor fish
Coquilles St. Jacques – Scallops
Congre – Conger
Crevette grises – small Shrimp (brown)
Grosses Crevette / Crevettes Royale – large Prawns
Crevettes (roses) – Shrimps – common prawn
Crustacés – Shellfish
Darnes de poisson- Fish steak
Daurade – Sea Bream
Dorade commune – Red Bream
Dorade grise – Black Bream
écrevisse – crayfish
Espadon – Sword Fish
Esturgeon – Sturgeon
Etrilles (small crabs with flat legs) – Velvet swimming crab
Friture – Whitebait
Gambas – King Prawn
Homard – Lobster
Huître – Oyster
Julienne – Ling (type of Cod)
Langoustine – Langoustine (Dublin’s Bay Prawns)
Lieu Jaune – Pollack
Lieu Noir – Pollock
Limande – Dab – member of the plaice family
Limande sole – Lemon sole
Lotte – Monkfish
Merlan – Whiting
Merlu/Colin (various names used for the same fish) – Hake
Morue – Salted Cod (fish when fresh is Cabillaud )
Palourdes – Clams
Perche – Perch
Requin – Shark
Roussette – Dog Fish
Sandre – Zander
Saumon – Salmon
Seiche – Cuttlefish
Thon – Tuna
Tombe – Gunarde (fish)
Tourteaux or Dormeur – Brown Crab
Truite – Trout (as a general term)
Truite Arc-en-Ciel – Rainbow trout
Truite Fario – Brown trout

We hope this comprehensive A-Z Guide to French fish names will help you next time you visit a French restaurant! If you are a fan of French food, you’ll love our sister publication, Taste of France! Your one-stop guide for recipes, restaurant reviews and interviews with the best and brightest voices in French cooking today.

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Charlotte is a freelance writer and photographer, who has been living in France with her family for nearly 15 years. Charlotte has been working with France Media since 2009, firstly as a Moderator on the popular FrenchEntré, of which she now manages the social and technical side, and more recently as the Editor of the French Property and Living Channels of the FrenchEntré website.

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  • The Ecologist
    2021-06-09 08:15:11
    The Ecologist
    The fish list stops at T. What about U through Z? What foe example is the fish called 'Vielle' in Englush?