One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A type of bagpipes, associated with Ireland, played held on the knee using bellows worked by the elbow; = "uillean pipes".
Late 18th century; earliest use found in World. Apparently from Irish uilleann, genitive singular of uille elbow + the plural of pipe, after Irish píoba uilleann, with folk-etymological remodelling of the first element after union, perhaps arising from the pronunciation of the Irish word with a palatal l.
union pipes/ˈjuːnɪən pʌɪps/
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