Borrowing from Latin alec (“herring”).
alec (countable and uncountable, plural alecs)
- An anchovy or herring, especially pickled or dried.
- A sauce made from alecs; alec sauce.
- New Comprehensive A-Z Crossword Dictionary By Edy G. Schaffer, HarperCollins, 1996, page 446, "Fish...pickle ALEC" and "Fish...sauce ALEC"
- An abridgement of Ainsworth's dictionary, English and Latin By Robert Ainsworth & Thomas Morell, Kimber & Conrad and Johnson & Warner, 1808, page 173, "herring, Alec [...] pickled herring, Alec"
- "Fish sauces", Fraser's Magazine, Volume 43 By Thomas Carlyle, J. Fraser, 1851, page 267, "[T]he ancient alec corresponds to the modern anchovy... Garum, like alec, was sometimes the name given to a Greek fish (the species unknown) and sometimes the sauce formed from it." [Italics added]
- "Herrings", The Westminster Review, Volumes 81-82, J.M. Mason, 1864, page 178, "The anchovy...was well known and appreciated by the ancients, at least in a pickled state. It was known to the Romans by alec or halec and aphya; it appears at one time to have been used in making the celebrated garum or fish sauce, of which the alec sauce was a thickened variety". [Italics retained from original]
- Prose halieutics: or, Ancient and modern fish tattle By David Badham, J. W. Parker and Son, 1854, page 70-72, "Alec, like garum, was at once the name of a fish and of a sauce made from it... That the fish called halecula, of which the alec [sauce] was originally made, was the anchovy, seems probable [...but some] manufactured alec out of crabs, oysters, shrimps, sea-urchins, and a variety of improper substitutes".