[hur-dee-gur-dee, -gur-]
noun, plural hurdy-gurdies.
a barrel organ or similar musical instrument played by turning a crank.
a lute- or guitar-shaped stringed musical instrument sounded by the revolution against the strings of a rosined wheel turned by a crank.

1740–50; variant of Scots hirdy-girdy uproar, influencedby hurly-burly

hurdy-gurdist, hurdy-gurdyist, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
hurdy-gurdy (ˈhɜːdɪˈɡɜːdɪ)
n , pl -dies
1.  any mechanical musical instrument, such as a barrel organ
2.  a medieval instrument shaped like a viol in which a rosined wheel rotated by a handle sounds the strings
[C18: rhyming compound, probably of imitative origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1749, perhaps imitative of its sound and influenced by c.1500 hirdy-girdy "uproar, confusion."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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