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UKULELE

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UKULELE

Postby Dr. Goodword » Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:38 pm

• ukulele •

Pronunciation: yu-kê-lay-lee • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: A small, four-stringed guitar closely associated with Hawaii

Notes: Ukulele presents only one spelling problem, the U in the middle of it. Since it is pronounced [ê] (uh), we don't know what letter represents it. Any letter may be pronounced [ê] in English: imitation [imêtashên], Bermuda [bêrmudê], and ukulele [yukêlaylee]. Remember that it is a U in today's Good Word. This word is a lexical orphan, no related words, and a very young one. Poor thing.

In Play: The ukulele is not held in high esteem by musicians and connoisseurs of music: "Amanda Lynn was on her way to play her ukulele at a party. Along the way she decided to stop for a bite to eat. Then she remembered she had left her ukulele in an unlocked car and rushed back to the parking lot. She was too late: someone had put another ukulele on the back seat."

Word History: Today's Good Word comes from the palm-lined archipelago, Hawaii. The instrument was introduced by the Portuguese, who brought a diminutive, four-stringed guitar called the "machete" along with them. One day the vice-chamberlain of King Kalakaua's court asked to be taught to play it. He learned quickly. The Hawaiians were soon calling him ukulele "leaping flea", because his lively plunking suggested a leaping flea (uku "flea" + lele "jumping"). Soon the instrument itself was being called a "jumping flea". (A tip of the hat and a strum on the old ukulele to Jeremy Busch for suggesting this Good Word from the 50th state.)
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:36 pm

Love the "In Play" example. And I've heard people hacking up the music with a uke. (Note the e at the end of the abbreviation.)
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:39 pm

my avatar, little fellow with a guitar,
is called Luke-a-lele by a friend who
posts here on 'res diversae'.
I had the little guy in black and white, and
he colored him in.
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:07 pm

Should you then become ukulele?
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:27 pm

As a "user name"?
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:22 pm

Axually, I left off the L, thinking of the change from the e to the u!
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:53 pm

Makes some sense. Give it some thought.
Actually I'd rather be living in Hawai'i watching
someone play the uke.
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Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:02 am

We had a mega-variety concert at church and one piece was played by twelve ukuleleists. It didn't bring the house down as did some of the other performances. I was underwhelmed.
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:33 pm

Other than on TV, I don't think I have ever witnessed it
being played, read Hawai'i 5-O here.
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Mar 30, 2012 3:50 pm

I had a uke in college in the 50's, and my best friend had a baritone uke. We got into folk music before it took over pop - Molly Malone and all that. If You Knew Susie was a standard uke piece.
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:28 pm

Yes, I recall "Susie" being a standard piece, now that
you mention it.
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Postby misterdoe » Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:59 am

Baritone ukulele? :?

Reminds me, for some odd reason, of a story my brother told me, of the first time he heard this song we both quickly became crazy about (Girls and Boys, by Prince). He had fallen asleep at a friend's house and was still half-asleep when he heard the song on the radio for the first time. He said he thought he was dreaming, the song sounded so unlike what he was used to. I suspect it was the croaking-frog bass clarinet riffs that play throughout the song, along with what sounds like an agitated kazoo...
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Postby misterdoe » Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:04 am

Baritone ukulele? :?

Reminds me, for some odd reason, of a story my brother told me, of the first time he heard this song we both quickly became crazy about (Girls and Boys, by Prince). He had fallen asleep at a friend's house and was still half-asleep when he heard the song on the radio for the first time. He said he thought he was dreaming, the song sounded so unlike what he was used to. I suspect it was the croaking-frog bass clarinet riffs that play throughout the song, along with what sounds like an agitated kazoo...
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:48 am

Yup, baritone. It's about half again bigger with a deeper and a bit richer tone. Doesn't approach a guitar, of course, but we had fun with them. I had a similar waking experience the first time I heard Chariots of Fire. My wakeup radio turned on with its two inch speaker rolling out fantastically rich tones you otherwise need a great sound system or earphones to reproduce.
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