: a style of music originating in the West Indies, marked by lively duple meter, and having lyrics that are often improvised and usually satirize local personalities and events; also: a song in this style
— ca·lyp·so·ni·an\kə-ˌlip-ˈsō-nē-ən, ˌka-(ˌ)lip-\noun or adjective
Origin of CALYPSO
Trinidad English, alteration of kaiso, perhaps ultimately of Afr origin; akin to eastern Caribbean English caliso, cariso satirical song
First Known Use: 1900
Musical style best known as a type of folk song. Calypso originated in Trinidad but is common throughout the Caribbean. The calypso tradition dates to the early 19th century. The subject of a calypso text, usually witty and satiric, is an event of political or social import. The lyric often incorporates Spanish, Creole, and African phrases, employing newly invented expressions such as bobol (graft) and pakoti (unfaithfulness). The exaggeration of local speech patterns is matched by an offbeat rhythm. Favourite accompanying instruments are the shak-shak (maraca), cuatro (a string instrument), and tamboo-bamboo (bamboo poles of various lengths struck on the ground). Shaped and tuned oil drums, played together in orchestras called steel bands, have also been popular.