As Webster 1913 states so well, any slender marine fish of the genera Belone and Tylosurus. The QPB Science Encyclopedia adds that these include several different types of fish, but all within the Order Semionotiformes and Beloniformes, and are "primitive bony fishes".

What I'll add is that they have a nasty set of teeth, at least nasty compared to fish one would usually find in a Texas freshwater creek.

In addition to whatever hidden actions these fish take place in underwater, they spend a lot of time floating on the surface, eating. I observed them a lot while fishing at my Grandmother's creek. Anywhere from one to three of them would appear at one time.

One night, I was bringing in my line. All of the sudden, my line went under, and I had quite a fight on my hand. As I finally reeled in the fish, I noticed that it was long and looked strange. I got it onto the bank and noticed it was a gar. What an ugly fish, it had a snout that was about 3 1/2 inches, full of long teeth. Yikes! Needless to say, I didn't bother trying to retrieve my hook.

Also the name of two groups of monsters in Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth novels.

They were large partially hairy, partially scaley bipedal beasts with wings and green glowing eyes. The species split into two groups: short-tailed and long-tailed. Short-tailed gars were much much smarter than long-tailed gars and are therefore that much more dangerous. Both hunted by using blood flies, the blood flies would bite at unsuspecting prey and the prey would kill the flies from annoyance/pain which gave away the prey's position letting the gar attack and kill it.

In Stone of Tears, Richard (the Seeker) killed a short-tailed gar mother, leaving her baby defenseless because it didn't have any blood flies yet. Out of mercy Richard left it some food, and since then the baby gar followed him, Richard eventually adopted the gar as a pet naming him Gratch (one of my favorite characters in the series).

Later in Temple of the Winds it is realized that the gars were created by the war wizards of ancient times during the great war between the old and new worlds to fight the mriswith, snake-like warriors with magical invisibility capes.
Gar is also a nickname for boys named Edgar, however I've only met 2 Edgars who go by Gar, so it isn't all that common of a nickname.

Also, as my mother explained it to me, when someone is 'full of gar' like nick said above, the term comes from 'piss and vinegar'.

Gar (?), n. [Prob. AS. gar dart, spear, lance. The name is applied to the fish on account of its long and slender body and pointed head. Cf. Goad, Gore, v.] Zool. (a)

Any slender marine fish of the genera Belone and Tylosurus. See Garfish.

(b)

The gar pike. See Alligator gar (under Alligator), and Gar pike.

Gar pike, ∨ Garpike Zool., a large, elongated ganoid fish of the genus Lepidosteus, of several species, inhabiting the lakes and rivers of temperate and tropical America.

 

© Webster 1913.


Gar, v. t. [Of Scand. origin. See Gear, n.]

To cause; to make.

[Obs. or Scot.]

Spenser.

 

© Webster 1913.

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