whammy bar

noun

variants or less commonly wham bar
: a lever attached by the bridge or tailpiece of an electric guitar that can be depressed to increase the tension of the strings and produce such effects as vibrato, portamento, and dive bomb
… he was also a distinctive guitarist with a biting, nasty tone, and was one of the first to make the whammy bar an integral part of his sound.Vladimir Bogdanov, All Music Guide to Soul, 2003

called also trem bar, tremolo, tremolo arm, tremolo bar, vibrato arm, vibrato bar, wang bar

Word History

First Known Use

1979, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of whammy bar was in 1979

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Cite this Entry

“Whammy bar.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whammy%20bar. Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

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