One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An instrument for giving a reading approximately proportional to the subjective aural effect of the noise in a communication circuit.
1930s; earliest use found in Journal of the Institute of Electrical Engineers. From ancient Greek ψόϕος noise, one of a group of words of imitative origin, frequently expressing disgust, as ψό, exclamation of disgust or contempt + -meter.
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