Word of the Day

Sunday, January 12, 2014


\HUR-dee-GUR-dee, -gur-\ , noun;
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.
The whole fleet of vehicles caught in the circle stops and starts to the eye-rhythm established, and a loud fairground hurdy-gurdy on the sound track synchronises all the movements into an unexpected, ravishingly beautiful and joyous merry-go-round.
-- David Bellos, Jacques Tati, 1999
The thump of rugs being beaten was sometimes joined by a hurdy-gurdy, which was painted brown and mounted on squalid cart wheels, with a circular design on its front depicting an idyllic brook…
-- Vladimir Nabokov, The Gift, 1970
Hurdy-gurdy entered English in the 1740s. It is a variant of the Scots word hirdy-girdy meaning "uproar."
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