Spinet organ

spinet

[spin-it]
noun
1.
a small upright piano.
2.
a small, square piano.
3.
any of various small harpsichords.
4.
Also called spinet organ. a small electric organ.

Origin:
1655–65; aphetic variant of obsolete espinette < French < Italian spinetta, probably equivalent to spin(a) thorn (see spine) + -etta diminutive suffix; the existence of an instrument-maker named Spinetti is unverified

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World English Dictionary
spinet (spɪˈnɛt, ˈspɪnɪt)
 
n
a small type of harpsichord having one manual
 
[C17: from Italian spinetta, perhaps from Giovanni Spinetti, 16th-century Italian maker of musical instruments and its supposed inventor]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

spinet
1664, spinette, "small harpsichord," from older Fr. espinette (1522), from It. spinetta, said by Scaliger to be a dim. of spina "thorn, spine," from L. spina "thorn" (see spine), so called because the strings were plucked with thorn-like quills. The other theory (favored by
OED) dates to early 17c. and claims the word is an allusion to the name of the Venetian inventor, Giovanni Spinetti (fl. c.1503).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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