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Jazz, folk, or country music played by performers who use unconventional instruments, such as kazoos, washboards, or jugs, sometimes in combination with conventional instruments.

[Origin unknown.]


(Music, other) a style of popular music of the 1950s, played chiefly on guitars and improvised percussion instruments
[C20: of unknown origin]


(Physical Geography) dialect Ulster a drizzle: a skiffle of rain.
[from Scottish skiff, from skiff to move lightly, probably changed from skift, from Old Norse skipta shift]


(ˈskɪf əl)

a jazz or popular music style played by a band of performers using both standard instruments and improvisations, as washboard, ceramic jug, washtub, and kazoo.
[1920–25; orig. uncertain]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.skiffle - a style of popular music in the 1950s; based on American folk music and played on guitars and improvised percussion instruments
popular music, popular music genre - any genre of music having wide appeal (but usually only for a short time)
Britain, Great Britain, U.K., UK, United Kingdom, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland - a monarchy in northwestern Europe occupying most of the British Isles; divided into England and Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland; `Great Britain' is often used loosely to refer to the United Kingdom


nSkiffle m; skiffle groupSkifflegroup f
References in periodicals archive ?
Set in Brighton in 1963, out-of-work skiffle player Francis Henshall becomes separately employed by two men - Roscoe Crabbe, a gangster, and Stanley Stubbers, an upper class twit.
event Billy Bragg In Conversation Discussing his new book 'Roots, Radicals and Rockers - How Skiffle Changed the World'.
On Saturday, it's the Skiffle Band, followed by the Tenovus Choir, Dylan and Niel, The One Steel Band, Band6, Y Cyffro and headlining are festival regulars Y Moniars.
Seamus Heffernan and Aidan O'Brien might also land the Group 3 Snow Fairy Fillies Stakes with Somehow, which is closely matched with British raider Skiffle on their Investec Oaks form, when they finished fourth and fifth respectively behind Minding at Epsom.
Nowadays, skiffle may be looked on as the slightly unkempt poor relation to rock and roll, but then it was something of a musical revolution.
SKIFFLE yesterday became a very welcome supplementary entry to an Investec Oaks that will be contested by a maximum of 11 fillies, two of which have already been described in recent days as doubtful runners.
Jim, on the other hand, was stopped in his tracks when he heard The King of Skiffle as a boy and saw him performing at a seaside variety theatre during the summer holidays.
Jim with Sir Paul " Lonnie was the undisputed King of Skiffle in the 1950s and inspired UK teenagers like Roger Daltrey, Van Morrison and the Beatles.
20pm The Downton Abbey star examines the influence of the 1950s singer, who released six number one singles at the height of the skiffle craze and was cited by John Lennon and Paul McCartney as a major influence in writing their own songs.
In this documentary, the lifelong Lonnie Donegan fan Jim Carter tells the story of the fifties King of Skiffle.
The Scots musician, who was known as the King of Skiffle, brought about the birth of British rock 'n' roll.
The Quarrymen were a British skiffle and rock and roll group, formed by Lennon in Liverpool in 1956, which eventually evolved into The Beatles in 1960.