Origin of matjes herringfrom Dutch maatjesharing, altered from Middle Dutch medykens hering, literally , maiden herring (because prepared from herrings that have never spawned)
matjes herringmat·jes herring
Origin of matjes herringPartial translation of Dutch maatjesharing maatjes ( alteration of maeghdekins ) ( genitive of maeghdekin maiden diminutive of maagd maid ; see maghu- in Indo-European roots.) haring herring
(plural matjes herrings)
From Dutch maatjesharing (“matjes herring"), from maatjes (“young, small") + haring (“herring"), from earlier forms maetgens-, maeghdekins-, medykens- ("maiden-like"), from maagd (“maiden") + -kin (“-kin"), so called because matjes herring is made of young herring that has never spawned.