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A fictitious or mythical half-human sea creature with the head and trunk of a woman and the tail of a fish, conventionally depicted (especially in heraldry) as beautiful and with long flowing golden hair, holding in the right hand a comb and in the left a mirror. In early use, the mermaid is often identified with the siren of classical mythology. Recorded from Middle English, the word comes from mere with the obsolete sense ‘sea’ + maid.

Mermaid Tavern a tavern in Bread Street, London, which was frequented by Shakespeare, Donne, and other literary figures.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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