from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- noun type genus of the family Cypraeidae: the typical cowries
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Europe, is Italian; _porcellana_ being in that language the name of those univalve shells forming the genus _cypraea_ of the conchologist, which have a high arched back like that of the hog (_porco_, Ital.), and are remarkable for the white, smooth, vitreous glossiness of the surface about the mouth of the shell, and sometimes, as in the common cowry (_Cypraea moneta_), over the whole surface.
The roof was high-pitched; the ridge-pole was covered with white shells (_Ovula cypraea_) and projected three or four feet at each end.
Its name will be preserved in the proverb, 'There is no market wherein the dove with the pouting breast (the _cypraea_) has not traded.'