I’ve been thinking about musical instruments. Thought it might be interesting to see the derivations of some of their names.
The word xylophone is based on 2 words – xylo and phone.
xylo- or xyl-
- Wood: xylograph.
- Xylene: xylidine.
[Greek xulo-, from xulon, wood.]
[Greek phōnē, sound, voice; see bhā-2 in Indo-European roots.]
This makes sense. An xylophone’s keys are made of wood.
When the Hawaiians saw the European sailors playing their ukeleles, it looked like they were brushing away fleas. Hence, the name of the instrument.
1895–1900, Americanism; < Hawaiian ʿukulele leaping flea (ʿuku flea + lele to jump, leap)