One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A valveless wooden horn up to 12 feet (4 m) long, used for signaling in the Alps.
- ‘In the rarefied atmosphere of Davos, amid the snow-covered Swiss mountains and the distant sound of yodelling and alpenhorn, it is easy to lose sight of more down-to-earth issues.’
- ‘Switzerland's Christian Zehnder and Balthasar Streiff are more than simply a duo playing the human voice and the sonorous, avalanche-inducing alpenhorn off each other.’
- ‘Dr. Hans brought up the fact that although the alphorns were still made in Switzerland from traditional pinewood, the strapping around the length of the horn was these days made from Thai bamboo.’
- ‘The quartet's instrumental line-up - bass, piano and Arkady Shilkloper on horn, flugel, alphorn and alperidoo - means that we're a long way from Billie Holiday.’
- ‘Rollerbladers, red flames shooting from their helmets, sped across a stage while alpine cows danced and men in lederhosen played alpenhorns.’
Late 19th century: from German, literally ‘Alp horn’.
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