Where does the word mandolin, as in the kitchen utensil, come from?
According to the OED, it is the same word as the musical instrument, whose name comes from Italian mandola, which is in turn from Latin pandura, both names for musical instruments. Apparently the kitchen utensil was named after the instrument, but it’s not clear why. Suggestions are that the user’s hand movements are similar when cutting with a mandoline as when playing a mandolin, or that the design of the utensil is reminiscent of the strings on the instrument.
I would guess it’s more likely the rapid repetitive hand motion that’s commonly used on the musical instrument, that’s like the motion you use when slicing on the utensil.
OK, that’s what I wanted to know, even though it isn’t a satisfying answer. Thanks.