How did a small four-string guitar that was not invented in Hawaii end up with a Hawaiian name that means Jumping Flea? Let’s go back to the 19th century when Portuguese travelers brought a braguinha to Hawaii. Jessica Oreck and Rachael Teel present yet another fascinating word origins story in this installment of Mysteries of Vernacular: Ukulele.

By the way, here are a few examples of how lovely ukuleles can sound, featuring ukulelist Corey Fujimoto:

Related videos: More Mysteries of Vernacular.

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