Where does the word “Sackbut” originate and What does Sackbut mean?

The Sackbut is a musical instrument, a precursor of the trombone in that it contained a hairpin-shaped bent tube which was slid in and out to vary the tone, may have derived its name from the Old Norman French saqueboute, a lance with a curved hook at the end, which was used to pull riders from their horses.

The further etymology of sackbut may remind our contemporaries of the pushmi-pullyu, that mythical animal found in Hugh Lofting’s tales of Doctor Dolittle which had a head at either end, for it is based on the fusion of saquier, “to pull,” and bouter, “to push.”

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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