Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A small four-stringed guitar popularized in Hawaii.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small four-stringed guitar.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a small guitar having four strings

Etymologies

Hawaiian 'ukulele : 'uku, flea + lele, jumping.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Hawaiian ʻukulele, from ʻuku ("flea") + lele ("jump, jumping") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The ukulele, which was based on the four-stringed braginho or cavaquinhos from Portugal is an example of an earlier small-sized European guitar being introduced to a different society; the word ukulele is Hawaiian for "flea".

    Yahoo! Answers: Latest Questions

  • The Hawaiians gave the instrument the name ukulele, which translates to ‘jumping flea.’

    The Aloha Quilt

  • The ukulele is not an instrument you normally associate with the blues; nor is the blues section where you'd expect to find a Cyndi Lauper CD.

    Cyndi Lauper: rhapsody in blues

  • Here in Hawaii the ukulele is still a large part of our culture.

    EXTRALIFE – By Scott Johnson - The party is harty…

  • The ukulele is a cultural icon that is seen virtually everywhere here.

    EXTRALIFE – By Scott Johnson - The party is harty…

  • One of the interesting things about practicing ukulele is that since I like to sing as well, finding songs to practice is a balance between what has manageable chords, and what has a melody I already know (hopefully it fits my vocal range as well).

    The Future Sounds Like This « Dyepot, Teapot

  • Godfrey learned to play the ukulele from a Hawaiian shipmate while he was in the Navy, and when he went on television to promote the new plastic ukuleles, more than 9 million ukuleles were sold, in the second great-wave of ukulele popularity.

    San Francisco Bay Guardian: Music

  • Mr. Shimabukuro calls the ukulele "the underdog of instruments," and for much of its life it has been.

    Broadcast Noir in 1950s London

  • "Schools have had budget cuts and they're looking to cut costs, the ukulele is a perfect instrument for that."

    Brooklynites Crazy For Ukuleles

  • The ukulele is a great leveller; I'd love to see George Osborne and his team at the Treasury giving it some welly to Teenage Kicks.

    A working life: Ukulele teacher

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Comments

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  • Here are a couple of videos made by an absolutely brilliant mentee of mine, a young man from Fairbanks named Wade. He's a guitarist who had this ukulele for about 3 weeks when he recorded these:

    While My Guitar Gently Weeps
    Wind Scene/Chrono Trigger

    And here's a guitar video for good measure:

    Bach, Inventions 9 and 15

    I love it when students surpass their teachers.

    July 15, 2008

  • Arafura Pearl. One of my work colleagues is famous for singing Australia's national anthem, Waltzing Matilda, in Larrakia (a local language), while accompanying herself on ukulele.

    July 15, 2008

  • I have a ukulele! Please throw ukulele-heavy songs in my direction. (I have Tiny Tim, Beirut's Postcards from Italy etc., Josephine Foster's Little Life..)

    July 15, 2008

  • Did anyone else notice that he pronounced the middle syllable in libido as "bye", as in, "li-bye-doh".

    February 19, 2008

  • Israel Kamakawiwo'ole is the best ukulele playing musician I've ever seen...He was awesome and is greatly missed. Check out his YouTube stuff.

    February 19, 2008

  • If you never thought you'd see "ukulele" and "Smells Like Teen Spirit" in the same performance, check this out.

    I wanna be their groupie...

    February 19, 2008

  • If you like Ukulele Lady
    Ukulele Lady like a'you
    If you like to linger where it's shady
    Ukulele Lady linger too
    If you kiss Ukulele Lady
    While you promise ever to be true
    And she sees another Ukulele
    Lady foolin' 'round with you
    Maybe she'll sigh (an awful lot)
    Maybe she'll cry (and maybe not)
    Maybe she'll find somebody else
    By and by
    To sing to when it's cool and shady
    Where the tricky wicky wacky woo
    If you like Ukulele Lady
    Ukulele Lady like a'you

    January 18, 2008

  • For an amazing ukulele presentation click HERE.

    April 11, 2007