Etymology
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violin (n.)

1570s, from Italian violino, diminutive of viola (see viola). The modern form of the smaller, medieval viola da braccio.

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violinist (n.)

1660s, from Italian violinista, from violino (see violin).

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fiddle (n.)

"stringed musical instrument, violin," late 14c., fedele, fydyll, fidel, earlier fithele, from Old English fiðele "fiddle," which is related to Old Norse fiðla, Middle Dutch vedele, Dutch vedel, Old High German fidula, German Fiedel "a fiddle;" all of uncertain origin.

The usual suggestion, based on resemblance in sound and sense, is that it is from Medieval Latin vitula "stringed instrument" (source of Old French viole, Italian viola), which perhaps is related to Latin vitularia "celebrate joyfully," from Vitula, Roman goddess of joy and victory, who probably, like her name, originated among the Sabines [Klein, Barnhart]. Unless the Medieval Latin word is from the Germanic ones.

FIDDLE, n. An instrument to tickle human ears by friction of a horse's tail on the entrails of a cat. [Ambrose Bierce, "The Cynic's Word Book," 1906]

Fiddle has been relegated to colloquial usage by its more proper cousin, violin, a process encouraged by phraseology such as fiddlesticks (1620s), contemptuous nonsense word fiddle-de-dee (1784), and fiddle-faddle. Century Dictionary [1895] reports that fiddle "in popular use carries with it a suggestion of contempt and ridicule." Fit as a fiddle is from 1610s.

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Stradivarius (n.)

valued type of violin, 1818, from Latinized form of name of Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737), violin-maker of Cremona, or his sons or pupils. Short form Strad is attested from 1884.

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G-string (n.)

1878, geestring, "loincloth worn by an American Indian," originally the string that holds it up, etymology unknown. The spelling with G (1882) is perhaps from influence of violin string tuned to a G (in this sense G string is first recorded 1831), the lowest and heaviest of the violin strings. First used of women's attire 1936, with reference to strip-teasers.

I AM the spirit of the silver "G":
I am silvered sadness,
I am moonlit gladness,
I am that fine madness
Of reverence half, and half of ecstasy
[from "Spirit of the 'G' String," Alfred L. Donaldson, in "Songs of My Violin," 1901]
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finger-board (n.)

of a violin, etc., 1670s, from finger (n.) + board (n.1).

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f-hole (n.)

"one of the two openings in the upper plate of the body of a violin," so called from resemblance to the italic letter f.

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violon d'Ingres (n.)

"an occasional pastime, an activity other than that for which one is well-known, or at which one excells," 1963, from French, literally "Ingres' violin," from the story that the great painter preferred to play his violin (badly) for visitors instead of showing them his pictures.

Une légende, assez suspecte, prétend que le peintre Ingres état plus fier de son jeu sur le violon, jeu qui était fort ordinaire, que de sa peinture, qui l'avait rendu illustre. [Larousse du XXe Siecle, 1931]
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viola (n.)

"tenor violin," 1797, from Italian viola, from Old Provençal viola, from Medieval Latin vitula "stringed instrument," perhaps from Vitula, Roman goddess of joy (see fiddle), or from related Latin verb vitulari "to exult, be joyful." Viola da gamba "bass viol" (1724) is from Italian, literally "a viola for the leg" (i.e. to hold between the legs).

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Cremona 

town in Lombardy, from Cenomani, name of a Gaulish people who lived there in Roman times, or perhaps from a Celtic word meaning "garlic" (compare Old Irish crim, Welsh craf). From 1762 as "violin made at Cremona by the Amati family (late 16c.-early 17c.) or Stradivarius (early 18c.)." Related: Cremonese.

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