One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A keyboard instrument resembling an organ but with the notes produced by steam whistles, used chiefly on showboats and in traveling fairs.
- ‘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.’
- ‘Marimba, clarinet and calliope all figure heavily.’
- ‘She may pick a topic like steamboat bells and whistles, or wax romantic about the calliope.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘The Astrodome was about right for Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King - in the distance, a calliope seemed to be playing.’
- ‘On the Mississippi Queen, old-time banjos and a calliope belt out favorites from long ago as passengers explore six decks worth of elegance.’
- ‘Now, at 8: 00 a.m., the calliope hauled out of the local museum each year awakens the open-windowed slothful for blocks around.’
- ‘She heard merry-go-round calliopes and Silent Night.’
- ‘When the calliope starts playing 'Mack the Knife,' it's time to call the kids inside.’
- ‘It serenely drifts through the subdued moments accompanied by yet another diverting calliope!’
- ‘Our steam calliope was traded to Cleveland for a second baseman.’
- ‘Today, he plays ‘Waltz of War, ‘which he recorded using calliope and accordion sounds on the synthesizer.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘We didn't even get as far as the authentic Chinese funfair, with the authentic Chinese waltzers and calliope.’
Mid 19th century: from the Greek name Kalliopē (see Calliope).
proper nounRoman Mythology Greek Mythology
The Muse of epic poetry.
From Greek Kalliopē, literally ‘having a beautiful voice’.
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