Etymology
Advertisement

piccolo (n.)

"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]

Others are reading

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of piccolo

piccolo (n.)
a small flute; pitched an octave above the standard flute;
From wordnet.princeton.edu