January 13, 2013
ocarina (noun)
\ah-kuh-REE-nuh\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: a simple musical instrument usually having an oval body with finger holes and a projecting mouthpiece and producing soft flutelike tones
How do you use it?
The twins each received an ocarina for their birthday, and within a few days, they were able to play a simple duet together.
Are you a word wiz?

"Ocarina" comes from an Italian word for a particular animal. Which of the following animals do you think it is?

"Ocarina" comes from the Italian word "oca," a dialect word for "goose," probably because someone thought that the ocarina's sound was similar to the sound the goose makes. Ocarinas are generally small instruments that you hold close to your mouth to play. In this way, an ocarina is similar to a harmonica, which is also a small musical instrument that is held in the hand and played by the mouth. Similar to the word "ocarina," "harmonica" comes from Italian, specifically the word "armonico," meaning "harmonious."
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