Originally: a grey mullet. Now only (in form Mugil): the type genus of the family Mugilidae, comprising the grey mullets.
Valid publication of the genus name: Linnaeus Systema Naturae (ed. 10, 1758) I. 316.
Late Middle English; earliest use found in John Trevisa (c1342–?1402), translator. From classical Latin mūgil the grey mullet, cognate with mūcus.