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90s Slang You Should Know

hand organ

a portable barrel organ played by means of a crank turned by hand.
Origin of hand organ
An Americanism dating back to 1790-1800 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for hand organ
Historical Examples
  • Then, all of a sudden, off in the woods there sounded the music of a hand organ.

    Jacko and Jumpo Kinkytail Howard R. Garis
  • “We might go round with a hand organ,” suggested Oh-Pshaw in desperation.

  • The hand organ was quite a distance from Jennie's house, and it took Joe some little time to reach it.

    The Story of a China Cat Laura Lee Hope
  • The hand organ is so contrived that the revolution of the barrel gives motion to the bellows.

  • Across the street, on corner number two, was an Italian with a hand organ.

    Owen Clancy's Happy Trail Burt L. Standish
  • By this time it was the dinner hour, and Mr. Kinkytail came home from the hand organ factory where he worked at making music.

    Jacko and Jumpo Kinkytail Howard R. Garis
  • A hand organ—Philomel by the grace of our stage carpenter, Fancy—fluted and droned in a side street.

    The Four Million

    O. Henry
  • At the opening note of the hand organ in the side-show Cousin Charley and Alfred were inside.

    Watch Yourself Go By Al. G. Field
  • The skillery-scallery creature tried to eat the hand organ, and he tried to play it, but he could do neither.

    Uncle Wiggily's Travels Howard R. Garis
  • The damp straw, the old stove, the two men and the hand organ were dragged from the smoking wagon.

    Watch Yourself Go By Al. G. Field
British Dictionary definitions for hand organ

hand organ

another name for barrel organ
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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