Winkles or Periwinkles are a sea snail mentioned occasionally in the How to Train Your Dragon Book series.
Winkles refer to the Common periwinkle (Littorina littorea). They are a marine gastropod occurring on the coastlines of the Northeastern Atlantic along countries such as the British Isles, France, Scandinavia, and Russia. Winkles have a small spiral 'snail' shell that is brown in color with darker spiral lines. Winkles eat primarily Algae, but will also eat immature life stages of barnacles and other creatures.
In the Book series and in real life, winkles are a food source for humans, worldwide. They are popular in Scotland, and evidence at prehistoric middens indicate they were eaten in large quantities for at least seven millennia. In addition to humans, winkles are eaten by dragons in the Book series.
Toothless is mentioned to like winkles due to their snot-like consistency.
|“||Never trust a dragon," said Toothless, cheerfully hopping out of the wallow and helping himself to one of the winkles that Hiccup had found for him (Toothless was particularly fond of winkles - "Just like picking your n-n-nose," he had said).||”|
|— Book 1|
Eating winkles is also seen as digusting, and is used in taunting.
|“||And Y-Y-YOU ... are a r-r-rabbit-hearted, seaweed-brained, winkle-eating SNOB.||”|
|— Toothless to Fireworm in Book 1|
|“||YOU shut up or I will tear you limb from limb and feed you to the gulls, you winkle-hearted, seaweed-brained, limpet-eating PIG.||”|
|— Thuggory to Snotlout|
|“||YOU MISERABLE MOLLUSKS! YOU WHIMPERING WINKLES! I COULD TAKE YOU FRITTERING FAIRY FOLK WITH ONE HAND BEHIND MY BACK!||”|
|— Fishlegs in Book 4|