Here are some of the market names for cut fish that are sold. This list may not cover them all, and some terms may vary from fishmonger to fishmonger or purveyor to purveyor, but the basic terms and descriptions are found below. They are basically in order of size or processing.

Whole: Complete fish, as it came from the water. This is also called a ‘landed’ fish.
Round: Complete fish, as it came from the water.
Headed: Fish with head only removed.
Trimmed: Fish with fins and tail only removed.
Skinned: Fish with skin removed (used primarily in reference to ‘fillets’).
Boned: Fish with primary bones removed. Pin bones (secondary bones) may or may not be present.
Gutted: Entrails or viscera removed. Fully eviscerated. Also known as ‘drawn’.
Drawn: Entrails or viscera removed. Fully eviscerated.
Split: Entrails, gills and roe removed, cut from the throat or nape to the tail or vent. Head and backbone may or may not be removed.
Dressed: Entrails removed, scaled, fins may or may not be removed, head may or may not be removed.
Pan-dressed: Dressed – with head, fins, tail removed.
Roast: Whole cuts of larger fish, and usually at the back end.
Section: Section of whole fish cut crosswise. Name will indicate where on fish it from (Front section is forward 1/3; Center section is center 1/3; Tail section is rear 1/3).
Block: Large dressed fish section, crosswise cut of whole fish.
Chunk: Smaller dressed fish section, crosswise cut of whole fish.
Loin: Longitudinal cut of meat from backbone, size depending on fish, one whole piece, especially used with tuna.
Steak: Cross sectional slices of fish. Straight cuts of whole fish between the head and tail, up to 2 inches thick.
Fillet: Cuts of sides of fish parallel to backbone, which may or may not have skin on, may or may not have bones.
Butterflied Fillet: Sides of fish joined at the back (sometimes belly), back bone usually removed if attached at back. Also called ‘double fillet’.
Fletches: Half fillets of larger fish.
Slices: Sections of a large fillet.
Scallops: Thin sections of a fillet.
Sticks: Uniformly cut portions of fish from blocks or fillets. Can be of any size.
Renee Shelton enjoys writing about fish and testing recipes, and serves as webmaster for Dana Point Fish Company. When she’s not handling seafood or out fishing, she can be found in the bakeshop talking about pastry. Visit her at pastrysampler.com, or send her a message using the contact form above.