[Note: This entry was previously cavally.]

cavalla n Also cavalle, caval(l)ia, cavalya, cavalyo, cavalyu; chiefly 19th cent. cavalli, cavally; earlier cavallo [Widely used, esp in forms cavallo, cavally, by English mariners from the 16th century onward for var, chiefly carangid, fishes of tropical waters; originally borrowed from one or more romance languages; cf Span caballa, Port cavala, Catalan cavalla, Ital (pesce) cavallo, all applied to species of mackerel (esp. Scomber colias), but also (at least in the case of Span and Port) applied to var similar fish of tropical waters. In the US, the shift from forms of the cavally type to cavalla (and cavalya, etc) suggests influence or partial re-borrowing from Spanish. Cf OED2 cavally, DCEU cavalli.] chiefly SE coast old-fash (exc in form crevalle n, here treated as a separate word) Note: Compounds of cavalla (and varr) are treated along with those of crevalle; see crevalle jack n, jack crevalle n, horse crevalle n

A fish of the family Carangidae; esp the jack crevalle n, but formerly also the pompano n 1.

[c1622 in 1882 Lefroy Hist. Bermudaes 7, With many other kindes [of fish], some of them knowen to the Americans only, as the porguise, the cavallo, the garrfish.] 1709 (1967) Lawson New Voyage 159 NC, SC, Cavallies are taken in the same Places. They are of a brownish Colour, have exceeding small Scales, and a very thick Skin. 1775 (1962) Romans Nat. Hist. FL lii, The fish caught here are. . . such as seamen know by the following names, viz. King-fish, barracoota, . . cavallos, . . and an immense variety of others. 1802 Drayton View of SC 91, The salt water fish consists of Shark. Porpus. Drum. Bass. Cavalli. Snapper. Shad. Sheep head. Whiting. Porgy. Black fish. Mullet. Herring. Skip jack. 1858 Russell’s Mag. 2.324 SC, I recognized three only among the varieties found in the fish market of Havana, viz:— the cavally, the horse cavally and the mullet, as frequenting the Atlantic coast as far north as latitude 32°. 1860 Holbrook Ichthyology SC 83, Bothrolæmus pampanus [=Trachinotus carolinus]. . . Crevallé, or Cavalli, Vulgo. 1873 Forest & Stream 1.258/1 eFL, The fish known on the coast of Florida as the cavalli or crevallè, I take to be Caraux [sic] defensor, (Dekay) [=C. hippos]. 1882 Weekly Floridian (Tallahassee) 2 May [2]/5, Quite an excitement was created when the boat, running through a school of cavalyos, a troll-line successfully hooked a very large specimen of this species of the finny tribe. 1885 Appleton Post (WI) 26 Feb [5]/3 FL, An hour and a half and . . two ten pound groupers and four cavalli, pronounced “cavalya” or “caval yu” are secured. 1888 Palatka Daily News (FL) 5 Feb 1/7, Thanks to Miss Clement’s hand and rod all were regaled at breakfast with the finest cavalla ever cooked to a turn. 1892 DN 1.189 TX, Cavalli: a species of fish found in the Gulf of Mexico. 1897 U.S. Bur. Fisheries Rept. for 1895–96 242 FL, Caranx hippos (Linnæus). “Cavally;” Crevallé. Common, particularly in the lower half of the [Indian] river. [DARE Ed: Quotation marks distinguish common names “more or less local in their use by Indian River fishermen.”] 1915 Montgomery Advt. (AL) 1 Nov 3/4 swAL, In three hours . . they landed 30 redfish, 9 speckled trout, 4 sheepshead, 1 cavalia. . . The cavalia weighed 25 pounds. 1922 Forest & Stream 92.162/2 swAL, In about five minutes I saw that I had a cavallia, which is called jackfish in some waters. 1935 Progressive Age (Scottsboro AL) 1 Aug [6]/1 swAL, John Vick, Cullman, Ala., won a prize for his twenty-eight pound cavalla. 1950 Pensacola Jrl. (FL) 8 June 1/6, Marvin Glover brought in a 10 pound cavalle, the first to be entered in the rodeo so far. 1963 Stuart News (FL) 9 May [sec C 4]/3, Spotted sea trout and big mangrove snappers . . were what we caught mostly, with now and then . . a cavalla (which is now called jack crevalle). 1976 Pensacola Jrl. (FL) 19 July sec C 1/1, Erving Collier caught a 42-pound seven-ounce cavalla (jack crevalle) Saturday to beat a one-day-old record. 1998 Ft. Myers News–Press (FL) 6 Aug sec C 8/5, But ask any person to name the hardest-fighting fish, pound-for-pound, and one brawler almost always comes to the top: crevalle jack. Actually, Caranx hippos more often is called just plain jack. Or it may be called cavally, cavalla or jackfish, among names printable in a family newspaper.