Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceWords & Wordplay · 1 month ago

Can bill mean jaw/mouth?

Hi, I was watching a fishing documentary and they were saying they need a big hook because some of the fish, their bills are very wide, so they have to go round, hook in.

What does it mean?

I'm studying English myself so it was a little bit hard to understand.

Thank you.

4 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    Yes, it is possible to talk about fish that way, but not really common.  Fish aren't usually talked about as having bills (a bill is not just jaws, but a bony type of structure worked by the jaws, so really more a special type of teeth in a sense). Some aquatic animals like turtles, say, have what are called bills or beaks even if they are really jaws, so that difference is a bit vague in detail.  I would never say it, but I can see some people saying it. I would not call it correct, but I could see it happening. I would still understand even if I thought it was a strange way to say it (and I would think it a bit strange, just as you did).

  • 1 month ago

    I suspect you may have mis-heard "gills". Fish have gills; birds have bills.

    Or perhaps they meant "mouths" and didn't know that "bill" isn't normally used for fish.

  • 1 month ago

    A bill is a broad, hard part of a bird's jaw. So ducks have bills, but robins have beaks.

    Is it possible they were talking about the gills of a fish?

  • John P
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    As far as I am concerned in Britain, in birds and just a few animals (e.g. duck-billed platypus), 'bill' means 'beak'. I do not readily associate 'bill' with any form of fish.

    Possibly the documentary was made in the USA.   Americans tend to go in for sport fishing of large fish.

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