Subject: sperm whale, name

mike williamson (
Tue, 20 May 1997 10:24:12 -0400 (EDT)

How did the sperm whale get it's name?

It is the oil that gave the whale its common name. "Spermaceti" -- later
shortened to "sperm" -- means "seed of the whale," because the mysterious
clear oil in the head was presumed in earlier times to be the seminal
fluid of the whale.


J. Michael Williamson
   Principal Investigator-WhaleNet <>
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