Difference Between Crayfish and Crawfish (With Table)

Seafood is a very crucial and significant part of the food habits of many people all across the world. People from different countries and areas prefer their food in a particular and distinct manner. Seafood is one of this particular and distinct cuisine and offers a wide range of choices for those people who love to try varieties in their food. 

Crayfish and Crawfish are two such examples of the variety offered by the seafood cuisine. In reality, these both are very related and sometimes that same thing too, but if one is getting technical about these two, he can notice a few differences that lie between these two terms. In many circumstances, these two make their own unique identity and mark a line of difference. 

Crayfish vs Crawfish 

The difference between Crayfish and Crawfish is that while referring to the same thing only, the former happens to be a term coined by an English scientist, but the latter denotes a term coined by an American zoologist. Apart from this, certain differences are present in the origin of these terms more technically and the places where these terms happen to be popular among people. Apart from this certain distinction, most of the time, both terms refer to the same thing. 

The term Crayfish refers to a species of crustaceans like crabs, lobsters, etc. However, it differs from all of these species in many aspects. This species can be found in running water easily as it is hard for it to sustain in polluted or still water. However, this is used as a food option by many people and is widely preferred.  

While on the other hand, Crawfish is nothing but the same species as we discussed earlier. The difference is that this term is widely used in countries like the United States and was given by an American zoologist in the year 1817. It is mostly used as a food option. 

Comparison Table Between Crayfish and Crawfish 

Parameters of Comparison Crayfish  Crawfish  
Meaning  It refers to a species of crustaceans like crabs, lobsters, etc. And is widely recognized by people of Europe, Africa, and Asia. It refers to the same species as Crayfish but is different from the former in terms of language and spoken areas. Crawfish is another word for Crayfish and is mostly used in American English only. 
Popularity  The more common and acceptable version  Less common and popular version  
Name given by An English scientist, Thomas Huxley, gave this name and told the world about the presence of this species.  An American zoologist, Thomas Say, gave this name and told the world about the presence of this species. 
Uses  Used as a food, as a bet, and as a pet Mostly used as food only 
Discovered in This term was coined in the year 1860 This term was coined in the year 1817 
Spoken in This term is used almost all over the globe. In all the major countries, this term is very popular, and people use it to refer to this particular species. This term is only popular in the United States and that too in the Southern areas only and not the others.  

What is Crayfish? 

Crayfish, as we call it, refers to a species of crustaceans like crabs, lobsters, etc. However, unlike these species, this has many physical differences and makes up a whole different species of such organisms. It is widely popular all over the world as a major seafood product. People love to eat it in many recipes popular in different parts of the world. 

It is widely recognized by people of Europe, Africa, and Asia. An English scientist, Thomas Huxley, gave this name and told the world about the presence of this species. This was the year 1860 that the world came to know about the existence of this particular term for this particular species.  

This term is used almost all over the globe. In all the major countries, this term is very popular, and people use it to refer to this particular species. But despite being popular in so many countries, this word originates from British English and entails the discoveries of Britishers with respect to this term and this species. 

What is Crawfish? 

Talking about Crawfish, this is also a species as mentioned earlier and refers to the same species as Crayfish, but is different from the former in terms of language and spoken areas. Crawfish is another word for Crayfish and is mostly used in American English only. 

In the year 1817, an American zoologist, Thomas Say, gave this name and told the world about the presence of this species. This was just the term that was defined by this scholar because the species was already popular in many countries with different and distinct names.

This term is only popular in the United States and that too in the Southern areas only and not the others. This happened because of recognition of this term only by the American English. And due to certain unknown reasons, it remained less known and popular compared to the term Crayfish. 

Main Differences Between Crayfish and Crawfish 

  1. Crayfish refers to a species of crustaceans like crabs, lobsters, etc. And is widely recognized by people of Europe, Africa, and Asia. While on the other hand, Crawfish refers to the same species as Crayfish but is different from the former in terms of language and spoken areas. Crawfish is another word for Crayfish and is mostly used in American English only. 
  2. Crayfish happens to be the more acceptable version of this species compared to Crawfish. 
  3. An English scientist, Thomas Huxley gave this name and told the world about the presence of this species called Crayfish. While the name Crawfish was coined by an American zoologist named Thomas Say. 
  4. Crayfish is a name that emerged in the year 1860, while Crawfish is a name that emerged in the year 1817. 
  5. Crayfish is a term that is used almost all over the globe. In all the major countries, this term is very popular, and people use it to refer to this particular species. While as far as Crawfish is concerned, only America is the one country that utilizes this term in regular operations. 

Conclusion  

The history is filled with such examples where two or more terms are being used to refer to a similar thing only. This happened because of the linguistic differences that lie among different geographical locations.  

The term Crayfish was given by Thomas Huxley, a scientist of England, and this term became more famous after the year 1860. While Crawfish was given by an American scientist and at that time, communication between different countries was not that much strengthened, and due to this, Americans went ahead with this name and still are using it. 

References 

  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/05704920701702950
  2. https://www.cabdirect.org/cabdirect/abstract/19911889950
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