Pregnant goldfish, twit?


I know this topic, or rather a topic with a list of "interesting facts"circled these boards, but apparently got wiped out in the Great Security Breach of 2002.

Approximately 1,360 sites on google claim that a "pregnant goldfish is technically called a twit."Go see for yourself. Do a search on +“pregnant goldfish” +twit.

Let me repeat, huh?

Even some vaguely reputable sites seem to back this up, of course, none of them with a source. I checked Merriam-Webster, I checked OED. Nadda. I’m about to fire off some e-mails to some piscarian (what’s the correct adjective, guys?) academics to get to the bottom of this. Snopes is no help, and I don’t recall Cecil illuminating us on this topic, so what’s the straight dope?

Maybe I’m being dense here, but can fish be pregnant?

I thought it was a matter of you squirt some eggs here, I’ll squirt some sperm on top of that, and we’ll go do lunch.

As far as I know, fish can become pregnant. The details of the pregnancy, I’m not terribly sure about. Anyhow, I figured out that the word I was looking for is ichthyologist, and I’ve fired off several e-mails to some “goldfish experts” and academic-type ichthyologists. I’ll keep y’all posted if someone doesn’t answer this here first.

Aha… Just found an interesting variation that claims that "twat"is a word meaning pregnant goldfish:

Goldfish do not become pregnant.
They are egg layers.
“Filled with roe” or “gravid”, but not pregnant.


I remember that thread and I posted to the thread with a similar assertion that there sure were an awful lot of sites that thought goldfish got pregnant and were call twits. This was met with some derision from the teeming millions.

I think that I was wrong. Goldfish do not get pregnant.

This site on glodfish breeding talks about having lots of plants for the fish to lay their eggs. No talk about pregnancy.

I posted a couple times to the old thread, and as far as i can remember I’m the one that said goldfish don’t get pregnant in the first place(though others may have as well). Another point I had made was going to a bunch of the many google websites that support the twit idea, and commenting on how every one of them was either another LONG list of “things you didn’t know” which had no references, or a SHORT list of “things you didn’t know”, also with no references (but dressed up a bit to make the site look more credible).

Some fish like small live bearers or some kinds of shark for example give birth to live or hatched out young, but not goldfish. If the term were real it would be much easier to find on the web sans wading through 15 million garbage sites, and the definition wouldn’t be curiously lacking from every dictionary I’ve looked in.

Some strains of aquarium fish commonly referred to as “goldfish” (or mistaken for goldfish) do get pregnant because they are live-bearers.

Guppies and platies are two common examples.

If you want to see their offspring, you need to isolate the pregnant females and keep a sharp eye out for the birth, or the fry will soon get swallowed up by the bigger fish. Baby platies are absolutely wonderful, tiny little version of the bigger fish, in bright yellow and red and orange colours!

My stupid female platies sadly chased their “husbands” to death, so no grand-fry for me…

When I first heard that guppies eat their young, I thought “How Horrible”.

Having kept a few aquaria in which the guppies have taken over (the guppy, I am convinced, is the cockroach of the tropical fish world), I am now convinced that the problem is that guppies don’t eat enough of their young.

Those who think that guppies or platties are goldfish are like unto those who call the computer case the harddrive.
They should never be allowed to have a fish (or a pc) again.

Yep! You guys ARE right. Goldfish do not get pregnant. I received responses from the Goldfish Society of America and an avid goldfish hobbyist. I will post them here for your information:

The first was from the Goldfish society. The second was from Lyn Duedall, keeper of the glimmering goldfish webring.

That said, I’m also researching the whole “goldfish have 3/7/20/30 second memories,” and have gotten some informative responses from behaviorial psychologists. If interested, I’ll post exerpts here once I completely digest the info…

One more comment…actually, the most informative part of the Goldfish Society letter is that it hints at a source - some European English dictionary. It’ll be interesting to see if I (or anybody else who is bored silly) can locate the root of this misinformation.

Yeah, I know, most of y’all have better things to do. :slight_smile:

My ancient English water gardening book gave no mention of “twit”.