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- A man with a fish for a head wears a top hat and carries a cane. "Cod-fish aristocracy" was a derogatory term for New Englanders whose family wealth originated in maritime businesses., Text: In vain you try to make a show, / ‘Mongst the proud flesh of cod-fish row, / Your home should be fast to a rod, / Upon the banks of old Cape “Cod.”, Provenance: Helfand, William H..