Think the uke is for dorks? Hey, girl — Ryan Gosling plays one. 'Nuff said.

Herbert Khaury, known by his stage name Tiny Tim, sparked a short-lived uke craze in the 1960s with his unexpected pop hit, "Tiptoe Through the Tulips." (Khaury, in case you didn't know, was living in Minneapolis when he died in 1996 and is interred at Lakewood Cemetery.)

The ukulele was introduced to Hawaii by Portuguese sailors in the 19th century and is now the 50th state's official instrument.

Although the uke looks like a small guitar, it has only four strings rather than six, and they aren't tuned to the same notes as a guitar's.

There are seven uke sizes, but the most common are soprano, concert and tenor.

JOHN REINAN