"You strange astonished-looking, angel faced, dreary-mouthed, gaping wretches of the sea. Gulping salt-water everlastingly. Cold blooded, though with red your blood graced, and mute, though dwellers in the roaring waste; and you, all shapes beside, that fishy be.-- Some round some flat, some long, all devilry, lLegless, unloving, infamously chaste:-- O scaly , slippery, wet swift, staring wighs, what is't ye do? What life lead? eh, dull goggles? How do ye vary your vile days and nights? How pass your Sundays? Are ye still but joggles in ceaseless wash? Still nought but gapes, and bites and drinks, and stares, diversified with boggles?" - James Henry Lee Hunt
Fish have had a role in culture through the ages, serving as deities, religious symbols, and as the subjects of art, books and movies.
Because the term "fish" is defined negatively, and excludes the tetrapods (i.e., the amphibians, reptiles,birds, and mammals) which descend from within the same ancestry, it is paraphyletic, and is not considered a proper grouping in systematic biology. The traditional term pisces (also ichthyes) is considered a typological, but not a phylogenetic classification.