Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[kuh-zoo] /kəˈzu/
noun, plural kazoos.
a musical toy consisting of a tube that is open at both ends and has a hole in the side covered with parchment or membrane, which produces a buzzing sound when the performer hums into one end.
Also called mirliton.
  1. the buttocks.
  2. the anus.
Origin of kazoo
An Americanism dating back to 1880-85; origin uncertain; alleged to be imitative Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for kazoo
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The Sand Piper marched ahead, playing on a tuneful instrument known as a kazoo.

    Marjorie at Seacote

    Carolyn Wells
  • Somewhere in the bushes, someone began to play a kazoo, adding the final touch of melancholy and heartbreak to the music.

    Pagan Passions Gordon Randall Garrett
  • "There's a kazoo for everyone, too," said Shaw, as the outstretched hands were equipped with wedding ammunition.

    Excuse Me! Rupert Hughes
British Dictionary definitions for kazoo


noun (pl) -zoos
a cigar-shaped musical instrument of metal or plastic with a membranous diaphragm of thin paper that vibrates with a nasal sound when the player hums into it
Word Origin
C20: probably imitative of the sound produced
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for kazoo

1884, American English, probably altered from earlier bazoo "trumpet" (1877); probably ultimately imitative (cf. bazooka). In England, formerly called a Timmy Talker, in France, a mirliton.

Kazoos, the great musical wonder, ... anyone can play it; imitates fowls, animals, bagpipes, etc. [1895 Montgomery Ward catalogue, p.245]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for kazoo



  1. The buttocks; anus; ass: an impossible, unreliable, self-destructive pain in the kazoo/ We have subcommittee staff running out the kazoo/ You know he's off balance and you'd like to stick it in his gazoo
  2. Toilet; can: I tore it up and flushed it down the kazoo

[1970s+; origin unknown; perhaps fr Louisiana French zoozoo, ''buttocks, ass''; perhaps kazoo, known in its standard sense fr the 1880s, suggested the anus in being tubular and emitting sounds]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for kazoo

Word Value for kazoo

Scrabble Words With Friends