Bummarees

A class of middlemen or fish-jobbers in Billingsgate Market, who get a living by bummareeing, i.e. buying parcels of fish from the salesmen, and then retailing them. A corruption of bonne marée, good fresh fish, or the seller thereof. According to the Dictionnaire de l'Académie, marée means toute sorte de poisson de mer que n'est pas salé. Bonne marée, marée fraiche.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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