This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Spot the frippet: ukulele.

Here's something cheerful to light our way to school and work:

Yes, it's a ukulele.

And if you're thinking, a ukulele's of no use or interest to me, then how about this:

Yes, it's a moustache ukulele. It's called a moustache ukulele because it illustrates all the moustaches of the world (there are more on the back). Now, who can say that's not useful? It was made by Andrew and Michele at Xylocopa.

Ukuleles were deveoloped in Hawaii after Portuguese immigrants from Madeira and the Cape Verde Islands introduced a small guitar called a machete.

Ukuleles usually have four strings, but those with six or eight are called taropatch ukuleles.

If you happen to be in a sad place where there is no ukulele to be found (and they sometimes come in groups:

(this is the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain)

then there's always this:

Do watch it. It will amaze you. Honest.

Spot the frippet (even if only on YouTube): ukulele. The word ukulele is from Hawaii, is probably from the word 'uku, which means flea and lele, which means jumping. This may because of the movement of the player's fingers, but there's a story that it was the nickname of the virtuoso ukulele player Edward William Purvis (who was small and figetty).

On the other hand, according to Queen Lili'uokalani, the last Hawaiian monarch, the name means “the gift that came here,” from the Hawaiian words uku (gift or reward) and lele (to come).

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