Ancient flutes were direct, blown straight through a mouthpiece but held away from the player's mouth; the modern transverse or German flute developed 18c. The older style then sometimes were called flûte-a-bec (French, literally "flute with a beak"). The modern design and key system of the concert flute were perfected 1834 by Theobald Boehm. The architectural sense of "furrow in a pillar" (1650s) is from fancied resemblance to the inside of a flute split down the middle. Meaning "tall, slender wine glass" is from 1640s.
"small flute sounding an octave higher than the ordinary flute," 1830, from piccolo flute (1809), from French piccolo, from Italian flauto piccolo "small flute," from piccolo "small," perhaps a children's made-up word, or from picca "point," or from Vulgar Latin root *pikk- "little," related to *piccare "to pierce" (see pike (n.1)). Other sources suggest it is from the same source as French petit (see petit (adj.)).
The Octave Flute is frequently miscalled a Piccolo, whereas it is merely an octave higher in pitch than the concert flute, and is very effective in brilliant full pieces. ["On Flutes and Piccolos," in The Harmonicon, 1830]
1670s, from special modern use of Latin striatus, past participle of striare "to groove, to flute," from Latin stria "furrow, channel, flute of a column" (in Modern Latin "strip, streak"), possibly from PIE root *strig- "to stroke, rub, press" (see strigil). Related: Striated (1640s); striating.