crwth was our Word of the Day on 03/17/2008. Hear the podcast!
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Did You Know?
Crwth is the Welsh name for an ancient Celtic instrument that is similar to a violin. In Middle English, the instrument's name was spelled "crouth" before metamorphosing to "crowd," a word still used in some dialects of England to refer to a violin. The Welsh word can also refer to a swelling or bulging body, and we can speculate that it came to be used for the instrument because of the violin's bulging shape. Other Celtic words for "violin" also have meanings referring to rounded appearances. In Gaelic, for example, "cruit" can mean "harp" or "violin" as well as "hump" or "hunch." As a final note, we would like to mention (in case you were wondering) that a pibgorn is an ancient wind instrument similar to the hornpipe; its name comes from the Welsh word pib, meaning "pipe," and corn, meaning "horn."
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