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Musician slang for an instrument, as in “That’s an awesome axe you have there!” It may also be spelled simply “ax,” without the “e.” Nobody is really sure when or where the term first appeared, though it’s likely to have been adopted during the 1960s, when guitar playing exploded in popularity, both here in the U.S. and the U.K. hot on the heels of the “British Invasion.”

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