Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A terrestrial orchid (Calypso bulbosa) native to northern temperate regions, having a rose-pink flower with an inflated pouchlike lip usually marked with white, purple, and yellow.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A type of music and dance that originated in the West Indies (perhaps Trinidad), a ballad is characterized by improvised lyrics on topical or broadly humorous subjects, often creating satire of current events.
  • n. A bulbous bog orchid of the genus Calypso, Calypso bulbosa
  • n. A light blue color.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A small and beautiful species of orchid, having a flower variegated with purple, pink, and yellow. It grows in cold and wet localities in the northern part of the United States. The Calypso borealis is the only orchid which reaches 68° N.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In botany, a genus of beautiful orchids, consisting of a single species
  • n. In zoology: A genus of crustaceans.
  • n. A genus of chalcid hymenopterous insects, of the subfamily Pireninœ, founded by Haliday in 1841: now called Euryophrys (which see).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (Greek mythology) the sea nymph who detained Odysseus for seven years
  • n. rare north temperate bog orchid bearing a solitary white to pink flower marked with purple at the tip of an erect reddish stalk above 1 basal leaf

Etymologies

Probably Latin Calypsō, Calypso; see Calypso1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Originally Trinidad English, an alteration of kaiso, perhaps ultimately of African origin; Allsopp 1996 suggests Ibibio ka iso ("come on"), used to urge dancers on. The spelling reflects a later folk-etymological assimilation with the mythological name Calypso. (Wiktionary)
From Latin, itself from Ancient Greek Καλυψώ (Kalypsō, "name of a sea nymph") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • But it also had strong roots in calypso and other Carribbean folk forms.

    Ska-Punk: A Tribute to a Lost Musical Genre | Heretical Ideas Magazine

  • It could not exactly be described as calypso cricket but the crucial element was that they did not play the familiar refrain of calypso collapso.

    The Independent - Frontpage RSS Feed

  • Dominican Republic etc. I hear more Latino music than I do reggae usually, although I've heard a lot of what's called calypso-usually involving steel drums.

    TravelPod.com Recent Updates

  • And looking at other facets of Alexander's life, the PNCR said that Alexander was well versed in the arts and had a thorough understanding of jazz and other musical art forms such as calypso and soca.

    Stabroek News

  • The key to the etymology is the recognition that the original form is kaiso; I love the fact that the transmogrification to the highfalutin "calypso" is called, quite properly, folk etymology-the ignorant "folk" aren't always poor and unlettered!

    languagehat.com

  • To celebrate, he took the family on a real vacation, to the Bahamas; white beaches, conch shells, calypso music and all that, three guys playing

    My Old Man, Across a Hotel Pool in the Bahamas

  • Some of them, such as Monsanto's calypso tomato seeds, are treated with deadly poisons which the EPA banned for home use in the U.S.

    Beverly Bell: Haitian Farmers: Growing Strength to Grow Food

  • For others, it is rock or calypso or pounding drums or electronic beats or maybe it is serial composition or traditional hymns or folk music or country and western.

    The Main Objection to Sacred Music

  • I then blithely displayed my arcane knowledge about the popular late 1940's hit song, Rum and Coca-Cola, which was introduced here by comedian Morey Amsterdam, who claimed to have written it after a trip to the islands ... only a Trinidad calypso composer named Lord Invader sued him and proved he had created it; the courts awarded him $150,000 in royalties.

    Jay Weston: Yo Ho Ho & a Bottle of Rum

  • He played with an aggressive tone, like a Sonny Rollins calypso, but never completely stole the spotlight, instead blending in with the unusual ensemble and an equally individual tune, which felt like a Cuban samba, a Rio choro, and a klezmer bulger all at once.

    Ringing in the American Revolution

Comments

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  • From The Free Dictionary:
    Noun
    pl -sos a West Indian song with improvised topical lyrics probably from Calypso, sea nymph in Greek mythology

    June 3, 2008