calypsonian /keuh lip soh"nee euhn, kal'ip-/, n., adj.
/keuh lip"soh/, n., pl. Calypsos, v.
1. Also, Kalypso. Class. Myth. a sea nymph who detained Odysseus on the island of Ogygia for seven years.
2. (l.c.) Also called fairy-slipper. a terrestrial orchid, Calypso bulbosa, of the Northern Hemisphere, having a single variegated purple, yellow, and white flower.
3. (l.c.) a musical style of West Indian origin, influenced by jazz, usually having topical, often improvised, lyrics.
4. (l.c.) to sing or dance to calypso.
[the name of the musical style is of obscure orig. and perh. only copies the sp. of Calypso the sea nymph]

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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.

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      in Greek mythology, the daughter of the Titan Atlas (or Oceanus or Nereus), a nymph of the mythical island of Ogygia. In Homer's Odyssey, Book V (also Books I and VII), she entertained the Greek hero Odysseus for seven years, but she could not overcome his longing for home even by promising him immortality. At last the god Hermes was sent by Zeus, the king of the gods, to ask her to release Odysseus. According to Hesiod's Theogony, she bore Odysseus twin sons, Nausithous and Nausinous.

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Universalium. 2010.

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