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mirliton

[mir-li-ton; French meer-lee-tawn] /ˈmɪr lɪˌtɒn; French mir liˈtɔ̃/
noun, plural mirlitons
[mir-li-tonz; French meer-lee-tawn] /ˈmɪr lɪˌtɒnz; French mir liˈtɔ̃/ (Show IPA)
1.
2.
Origin
1810-1820
1810-20; < French: literally, reed-pipe
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for mirliton

mirliton

/ˈmɜːlɪtɒn/
noun
1.
another name (chiefly US) for chayote
Word Origin
C19: French, literally: reed pipe, of imitative origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for mirliton

pseudomusical instrument or device in which sound waves produced by the player's voice or by an instrument vibrate a membrane, thereby imparting a buzzing quality to the vocal or instrumental sound. A common mirliton is the kazoo, in which the membrane is set in the wall of a short tube into which the player vocalizes. Tissue paper and a comb constitute a homemade mirliton. Mirlitons are also set in the walls of some flutes (e.g., the Chinese ti) and xylophone resonators to colour the tone. The mirliton is one of the few membranophones (membrane instruments) not sounded by percussion.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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