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Word of the Day
Sunday, January 12, 2014

Definitions for hurdy-gurdy

  1. a barrel organ or similar musical instrument played by turning a crank.
  2. a lute- or guitar-shaped stringed musical instrument sounded by the revolution against the strings of a rosined wheel turned by a crank.

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Citations for hurdy-gurdy
The whole fleet of vehicles caught in the circle stops and starts to the eye-rhythm established, and a loud fairground hurdy-gurdy on the sound track synchronises all the movements into an unexpected, ravishingly beautiful and joyous merry-go-round. David Bellos, Jacques Tati, 1999
The thump of rugs being beaten was sometimes joined by a hurdy-gurdy, which was painted brown and mounted on squalid cart wheels, with a circular design on its front depicting an idyllic brook… Vladimir Nabokov, The Gift, 1970
Origin of hurdy-gurdy
Hurdy-gurdy entered English in the 1740s. It is a variant of the Scots word hirdy-girdy meaning "uproar."