wah wah

wah-wah

[wah-wah]
adjective
1.
producing a muted, bawling sound like that of a trumpet with the hand moved momentarily over the bell: a wah-wah effect on a synthesizer; a guitar with a wah-wah pedal.
noun
2.
a sound or effect like the muted sound of a trumpet, especially in music.
3.
an electronic device or attachment to produce such a sound, often used with an electric guitar.
Also, wa-wa.


Origin:
1925–30; imitative

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World English Dictionary
wah-wah (ˈwɑːˌwɑː)
 
n
1.  the sound made by a trumpet, cornet, etc, when the bell is alternately covered and uncovered: much used in jazz
2.  an electronic attachment for an electric guitar, etc, that simulates this effect
 
[C20: of imitative origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

wah-wah
1926, in jazz slang, in ref. to the effect on brass instruments made by manipulating the mute; of imitative origin. Later also in ref. to an electric guitar effect. As an imitation of the sound of a baby crying, it is recorded from 1938. Wah-wah pedal is recorded from 1969. Cf. Chinook jargon wawa "talk,
speak, call, ask, sermon, language;" Cree (Algonquian) wehwew "goose," Lenape (Algonquian) wava "snow goose," all probably of imitative origin.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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