One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An American keyboard instrument resembling an organ but with the notes produced by steam whistles, formerly used on showboats and in travelling fairs.
- ‘She heard merry-go-round calliopes and Silent Night.’
- ‘Its coals fade to black shortly after it starts, but then a scratchy calliope whirs to life, taking it out on a wistful, black and white note.’
- ‘Our steam calliope was traded to Cleveland for a second baseman.’
- ‘The Astrodome was about right for Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King - in the distance, a calliope seemed to be playing.’
- ‘She may pick a topic like steamboat bells and whistles, or wax romantic about the calliope.’
- ‘It serenely drifts through the subdued moments accompanied by yet another diverting calliope!’
- ‘Marimba, clarinet and calliope all figure heavily.’
- ‘The track opens with a series of agitated sci-fi effects, homely robot tones that later segue into what sounds like the malfunctioning calliope of a downtrodden circus.’
- ‘Now, at 8: 00 a.m., the calliope hauled out of the local museum each year awakens the open-windowed slothful for blocks around.’
- ‘When the calliope starts playing 'Mack the Knife,' it's time to call the kids inside.’
- ‘On the Mississippi Queen, old-time banjos and a calliope belt out favorites from long ago as passengers explore six decks worth of elegance.’
- ‘When the kid found out we were going to leave him at home he started up a howl like a calliope and fastened himself as tight as a leech to Bill's leg.’
- ‘We didn't even get as far as the authentic Chinese funfair, with the authentic Chinese waltzers and calliope.’
- ‘Today, he plays ‘Waltz of War, ‘which he recorded using calliope and accordion sounds on the synthesizer.’
Mid 19th century: from the Greek name Kalliopē (see Calliope).
proper nounGreek Mythology Roman Mythology
The Muse of epic poetry.
From Greek Kalliopē, literally ‘having a beautiful voice’.
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