Slang words meaning “guitar”

The history of the guitar goes back really, really far. 

The first precursor to the guitar, harp-like “lyres” date back to the beginning of recorded time, at least 3000 BCE. Naturally, the guitar has gone through plenty of nicknames over the years and in different areas of the world.  

Here are a couple you may have heard of (or not!) 

Ax/Axe 

This is probably the most well-known guitar slang term. The term originated among jazz musicians in the 1950s. The term started out meaning a saxophone (sax/axe) and eventually became associated with other instruments, including guitars. 

Six-string 

Bryan Adams sang about purchasing his first real six-string in the 1985 song “Summer of ‘69”, but since most guitars have six-strings, we can assume he didn’t come up with the term. 

Guitbox 

The “box” part of “guitbox” refers to the body of the guitar. It can mean an acoustic or semi-hollow/hollow body guitar. 

Guitfiddle 

“Guitfiddle” is an old term for guitar. It was mostly used in the Southern United States. 

Gat 

If you’re in New Zealand, you might hear the term “gat” referring to a guitar. 

Keppi 

Keppi is Finnish slang for “guitar”. It literally translates as “stick”. 

Jazz box 

“Jazz box” refers to a type of electric guitar that was used in big band ensembles through the 1930s. 

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