Definition of Jew's harp

1. Noun. A small lyre-shaped musical instrument that is placed between the teeth and played by twanging a wire tongue while changing the shape of the mouth cavity.

Exact synonyms: Jews' Harp, Mouth Bow
Generic synonyms: Instrument, Musical Instrument

Definition of Jew's harp

1. Noun. A musical instrument consisting of a flexible metal or bamboo “tongue” attached to a frame. This tongue is placed in the performer’s mouth and plucked with the finger to produce a note of constant pitch. Melodies can be created by changing the shape of the mouth and causing different overtones. ¹

¹ Source:

Jew's Harp Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Jew's Harp

jeu d'esprit
jeu de paume
jeune fille
jeunesse dorée
jew's harp
jewel bearing
jewel case
jewel cases
jewel casket
jewel orchid

Literary usage of Jew's harp

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. Niles' Weekly Register edited by Hezekiah Niles, Jeremiah Hughes, George Beatty (1837)
"...-.u one had a jew s harp, and :, do- ^ , -,-, , ,- (. as a blind, until :.ll tlieir ¡;iun!;, «-ere hid in tile various stores standing in coves, ..."

2. Boswell's Life of Johnson: Including Boswell's Journal of a Tour to the by James Boswell, Samuel Johnson (1887)
"Bonnell Thornton had just published a burlesque Ode on St. Cecilia s day, adapted to the ancient British musick, vis. the salt-box, the jew s-harp, ..."

3. Letters of Dr. John Brown by John Brown, Elizabeth T. McLaren (1907)
"23, and John will play a March from Beethoven on the JEW S' harp through the lobby, and you know you must be kind and merciful to us, and not frighten me ..."

4. Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine (1826)
"... as he was »pt, when out of her restraining presence, to get into mischief, besides which, his musical powers on the hurdy-gurdy and Jew s harp, would, ..."

5. Contributions to the Mineralogy of Victoria by George H. F. Ulrich (1870)
"... has since kindly given me the following particulars with respect to their occurrence : — On getting a hole sunk in the granite on Jew-s Harp Creek, ..."

6. St. Pancras: Being Antiquarian, Topographical, and Biographical Memoranda by Samuel Palmer (1870)
"... the Old Gate House, at the top of High- gate Hill, where all sojourners were sworn under the Horns ; the Queens Head, the Artichoke, and the Jew s Harp, ..."

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