calypso, calyptso 1933

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Mon May 5 00:07:58 UTC 2014

Note that the Dictionary of the English/Creole of Trinidad & Tobago has citations for "Calypso" dating back to 1900.

Fred Shapiro

From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of Baker, John [JBAKER at STRADLEY.COM]
Sent: Sunday, May 04, 2014 1:03 PM
Subject: Re: calypso, calyptso 1933

Slightly earlier is this article from the Kingston Gleaner (July 1, 1933) (Access Newspaper Archive), describing plans in Trinidad to celebrate the centenary of the death of anti-slavery activist William Wilberforce.  It credits the Port of Spain Gazette of June 25th.

"The local "calypso" singers have already erected a tent in the heart of the city on premises at No. 44 Nelson St. for the purpose of rehearsing special ballads and songs and dramas for the occasion.  By way of infusing added interest in this part of the celebration it is understood a city firm has intimated its intention of offering a valuable prize for the band with the most original costume at the pageant."

John Baker

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Stephen Goranson
Sent: Saturday, May 03, 2014 2:07 PM
Subject: calypso, calyptso 1933

OED has calypso from 1934; the calyptso spelling is not noted. The spelling calypso

is used by the same author below, in a similar snippeted GB account in

If Crab No Walk: A Traveller in the West Indies  (London 1933) 102f.

Owen Rutter, "The Calyptso Songs of Trinidad," The Sackbut 14.3 (Oct. 1933) 74-77

(Proquest British Periodicals)

"The Trinidad Calyptso is a kind of concert at which the songs to be sung at Carnival time are

tried out in open competition....These calyptso songs are in no sense folk songs. They are expressly

composed for the occasion....a canvas enclosure had been rigged up....listening.... saying 'That's so, son,

 that's so'....they sang the refrain of the song twice over....chorus...patois...songs were mainly topical....

[lyrics quoted]...."

Stephen Goranson

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