from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A toy musical instrument consisting of a hollow wooden pipe, about 4 inches long and half an inch in diameter, with a hole near one end and closed with parchment at the other, producing, when blown, a loud doleful sound. It was in use about 1856. Hence—2. An imaginary musical instrument feigned to be loudly sounded on occasions of special jubilation.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
He was just getting warmed up to "balance to partners," when a frown came over the sultan's face and he looked cross at dad, and then the hewgag sounded, and the girls scattered out of a side door and dad wanted to follow, but I held him by the coat, and it was over.
Dad and I had hired knee breeches and things of a masquerade ball store, and we didn't look half bad when the crowd of shieks and things formed a crescent around the sultan, who sat in a sort of barber's chair with an awning over it, and they sounded a hewgag or something, and about