Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for March 17, 2020 is:

crwth • KROOTH  • noun

: an ancient Celtic stringed instrument that is plucked or bowed


An Irish journeyman is expected to perform at the St. Patrick’s Day celebration; he is an accomplished player of the hornpipe and crwth.

“Rae embarked on her first journey into songwriting and multi-instrumentalism with If Only I Could Fly [May 2013], featuring her prowess on fiddle, vocals, guitar and the crwth….” —

Did you know?

Crwth, which comes to us from Welsh, is the name for an ancient Celtic instrument that is similar to a violin. In Middle English, the instrument’s name was spelled crouth before metamorphosing to crowd, a word still used in some dialects of England to refer to a violin. Crwth can also refer to a swelling or bulging body, and we can speculate that it came to be used for the instrument because of the violin’s bulging form. Other Celtic words for the violin also have meanings referring to rounded shapes. In Gaelic, for example, cruit can mean “harp” or “violin” as well as “hump” or “hunch.”

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