a small, four-stringed, guitarlike musical instrument introduced from Portugal into the Hawaiian Islands about 1879
colloquially shortened to uke
Origin of ukuleleHaw, literally , leaping flea ; from uku, flea (; from Proto-Polynesian an unverified form kutu from source cootie) + lele, to jump: origin, originally a nickname of Edward Purvis, nimble player who popularized the instrument there
A small four-stringed guitar popularized in Hawaii.
Origin of ukuleleHawaiian ‘ukulele, probably from ‘uku lele, jumping flea (perhaps in reference to the movement of the fingers when playing the instrument) : ‘uku, louse, flea (from Proto-Polynesian kutu, louse) + lele, to fly, jump (from Proto-Polynesian lele).
From Hawaiian Ê»ukulele, from Ê»uku (“flea") + lele (“jump, jumping")