Jew's harp

or Jews' harp


(sometimes lowercase) a small, simple musical instrument consisting of a lyre-shaped metal frame containing a metal tongue, which is plucked while the frame is held in the teeth, the vibrations causing twanging tones.

Origin of Jew's harp

First recorded in 1585–95; perhaps jocular; earlier called Jew's trump Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019