According to the ENCICLOPEDIA UNIVERSALE GARZANTI
this is apparently the Italian
word for the device we English-speakers tend to refer to as the jew's harp
, jaw harp
or mouth harp
, when we refer to it at all.
The word is a noun with masculine properties associated with it, both singular and plural, but these aren't really what's interesting about it...
Unlike the English terms for the instrument, which tend to include analogies to other musical instruments ("harp") or references to the part of the body involved in its use ("mouth", "jaw"), the Italian term instead conjoins "scacciare" - a verb meaning to shoo away or dismiss - and "pensieri", meaning "thought".
Consider, if you will, a shepherd lazing atop a hill observing his flock frolicking in a Tuscan valley, idly plucking this metal contraption in a purely reflexive manner - occupying the hands and delightedly distracting the senses, between the two attaining a sort of zen nothingness scattering and chasing away complicating and unnecessary thoughts and ideas from his simple pastoral paradise.
The name of the instrument also finds some secondary use alluding to passtimes, recreations and/or diversions - activities that help fill and pass time but are ultimately no more useful or fruitful than an afternoon of twang, twang, twang...