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ocarina

[ok-uh-ree-nuh] /ˌɒk əˈri nə/
noun
1.
a simple musical wind instrument shaped somewhat like an elongated egg with a mouthpiece and finger holes.
Also called sweet potato.
Origin
< Italian, orig. dial. (Emilia), diminutive of oca goose (< Late Latin auca, contraction of *avica, derivative of Latin avis bird), so called from the instrument's shape; apparently the name given to it by Giuseppe Donati of Budrio, near Bologna, who popularized a ceramic version c1860
Related forms
ocarinist, noun
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for ocarinist

ocarina

/ˌɒkəˈriːnə/
noun
1.
an egg-shaped wind instrument with a protruding mouthpiece and six to eight finger holes, producing an almost pure tone Also called (US informal) sweet potato
Word Origin
C19: from Italian: little goose, from oca goose, ultimately from Latin avis bird
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
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Word Origin and History for ocarinist

ocarina

n.

1877, from Italian ocarina, diminutive of oca "goose" (so called for its shape), from Vulgar Latin *auca, from Latin avicula "small bird," diminutive of avis "bird" (see aviary).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for ocarinist

ocarina

globular flute, a late 19th-century musical development of traditional Italian carnival whistles of earthenware, often bird-shaped and sounding only one or two notes. It is an egg-shaped vessel of clay or metal or, as a toy, of plastic and is sounded on the flageolet, or fipple flute, principle. It usually has eight finger holes and two thumbholes and may have a tuning plunger.

Learn more about ocarina with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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