Origin of piranhaBrazilian Portuguese ; from Tupí and amp; Guaraní, toothed fish ; from pirá, fish + sainha, tooth
Origin of piranhaPortuguese, from Tupí : pirá, fish + ánha, teeth.
First attested in 1869. The first part of the term is from Ere pirá (“fish”). There are four theories regarding the source of second part:
- It may be from Old Tupi sanha, sainha (“tooth”), or a Guaraní cognate of the same.
- It may be from Old Tupi ánha.
- The full term may have been pira nya, a variant of pira'ya (“scissor-fish”), in Old Tupi.
- It may be from Old Tupi anhá, meaning "bad" or "devil" in Tupi-Guarani.