In the United States, "clam" can be used in several different ways: one, as a general term covering all bivalve molluscs. The word can also be used in a more limited sense, to mean bivalves that burrow in sediment, as opposed to ones that attach themselves to the substrate (for example oysters and mussels), or ones that can swim and are migratory, like scallops. In addition "clam" can be used in an even more limited sense, to mean one or more species of commonly consumed marine bivalves, as in the phrase clam chowder, meaning shellfish soup usually made using the hard clam. Many edible bivalves have a roughly oval shape; however, the edible Pacific razor clam has an elongated, parallel-sided shell, whose shape suggests that of an old-fashioned straight razor.
In the United Kingdom, "clam" is one of the common names of various species of marine bivalve mollusc, but it is not used as a general term to cover edible clams that burrow, and it is not used as a general term for all bivalves.
Numerous edible marine bivalve species live buried in sand or mud, and respire by means of siphons, which reach to the surface. In the United States, these clams are collected by "digging for clams" or clam digging.
In October 2007 an Arctica islandica clam, caught off the coast of Iceland, was discovered to be at least 405 years old, and was declared the world's oldest living animal by researchers from Bangor University; it was later named Ming.
Some species of bivalves are too small to be useful for food and not all species are considered palatable.
The word "clam" has given rise to the metaphor "clam up", meaning to refuse to talk or answer, based on the clam behavior of quickly closing its shell when threatened. A "clamshell" is the name given to a container consisting of two hinged halves that lock together. Clams have also inspired the phrase "happy as a clam", short for "happy as a clam at high tide" (which should be happy because it cannot easily be dug up and eaten).
Other articles related to "clam, clams":
... and restaurant owner who legend has it invented the Ipswich fried clam ... He opened Woodman's of Essex, first as a clam shack, with his wife Bessie on Main Street in Essex, Massachusetts and sold freshly dug steamer clams as well ... Legend has it that Woodman invented fried clams on July 3, 1916 ...
... / 44.732806°N 62.920222°W / 44.732806 -62.920222 Clam Bay in Nova Scotia Clam Bay is a community of the Halifax Regional Municipality in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia ...
... Cytherea lyrata The lyrate Asiatic hard clam, Meretrix lyrata, also known simply as the hard clam (Vietnamese Nghêu Bến Tre), is an edible saltwater clam ...
... The word used to mean a shellfish, or mollusk, identified as an oyster, mussel, or giant clam such as the Pearl of Lao Tzu ... for "mollusca", the Erya defines it as a large yao (珧) which means shellfish, clam, scallop, or mother-of-pearl ... dictionary of the Han Dynasty defines it a large ge (蛤), meaning clam, oyster, shellfish, or bivalve ...
... Clam is an unincorporated community in Accomack County, Virginia, United States. ...
Famous quotes containing the word clam:
“Over the low, barnacled, elephant-colored rocks,
Come the first tide-ripples, moving, almost without sound, toward
Running along the narrow furrows of the shore, the rows of dead clam shells;”
—Theodore Roethke (19081963)