soft oyster n Cf hard oyster n
A type of oyster n B1 (here: Crassostrea virginica); see quot 1882.
1881 Ingersoll Oyster-Industry 248, Soft Oyster.—The “Virginia plant,” or southern oyster (Staten Island sound), as distinguished from the “hard” native oyster. 1882 NJ Bur. Statistics Labor & Industries Annual Rept. for 1882 243, There are two kinds of planting—one that of small natives or Northerns, known as hard oysters, the other that of Southern, or soft oysters. . . The Southern oysters are variously known as “Virginia seed,” “Chesapeakes,” “soft,” and “fresh” oysters.