July 21, 2019

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Trinidad Carnival Dictionary

Trinidad Carnival Dictionary

Bacchanal- denotes the merry-making and noisy confusion of those engaged in any carnival activity.

Back Back…..A suggestive dance performed with the male dancer’s front rubbing against the female’s rear, and vice versa

Bam bam, Boom-boom – Backside, behind, ass, bottom, buttock.

Band – A group of Carnival masqueraders with costumes designed on a related theme. A band can have 4,000-7,000 people divided into 25 or more sections, each with it’s own theme and several music trucks. Each band has a huge King and Queen costume. Carnival Tuesday will see about 20 large bands go across the savannah stage and parade in the streets in competition

Bazodee – A state of dizziness or confusion, typically caused by members of the opposite sex

Boomsie – Backside, behind, ass, bottom, buttock.

Buss – to burst; to be a flop e.g. “Dred, dat party rel buss.”

Calypso – A musical and lyrical comment on any subject, profusely composed for, but not limited to the Carnival season.

Calypsonian – One who sings calypsoes.

Cahneevaal- (Carnival) “Farewell to the Flesh” A pre-Lenten festival started by Catholics to get in one last party before giving up wine, women and song for 40 days during Lent. Preparations and partying in Trinidad start in January and build up to Jouvay (Monday) and Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) ending at midnite just before Ash Wednesday in mid-February. Costume bands in street Carnival, steelband competitions, Calypso contests, parties, dances and Kiddie Carnival all come together for Carnival.

Costume –

Dimarsh Gra- (Dimarche Gras) The major show on Carnival Sunday night. Eight King and eight Queen of the bands costumes (some 30 feet tall) compete on stage at Queen’s Park Savannah to be named King and Queen of Carnival. The eight top singers compete to be crowned the Calypso Monarch.

Dingolay – To flaunt, to tease playfully, to dance in a joyful, carefree manner.

Extempo – Free style singing of extemporaneous calypso songs

Fete, Fet – A party, loud music, lots to eat and drink, dancing to wee hours of the morning.

Frontline –

Jab Jab -A type of Carnival devil costume; jabs people with his fork and demands money from passersby.

Joo-vay-(Jouvay, Jour Ouvert, J’Ouvert) “Opening of Day” in French, Carnival Mas beginning before dawn on Carnival Monday wearing costumes of mud, old clothes (Ole Mas), devil costumes or satirical themes

Las Lap/Last Lap – Last minute street partying on Carnival Tuesday just before the official end of Carnival at midnight when Ash Wednesday begins. The very last of Carnival

Liming (noun) -to hang out in a casual atmosphere, loafing e.g. “I feeling to lime.”
pre-arranged activity(hangin out)

Mas – Masquerade, Carnival parade.

Mas Camp – Where costumes and floats for Carnival are designed and fabricated.

Moko Jumbie – Stilt dancers, an African tradition carried over into carnival. Their costumes represent jumbies, or beings from the dead.

Mud Band – A J’ouvert mas band with revelers plastering their bodies in mud from head to toe.

Ole mas- Ole mas is the abbreviation for ‘Old Masquerade’. It refers either to the ‘mud mas’ on Jouvert morning, or the witty street satire of lampooning popular personalities or issues through placards and odd costumes.

Panorama- Held since 1963, Panorama is the premiere steelband competition of the carnival season.

Panyard- Where steel bands rehearse

Road March – Kind of Trinidad’s song of the year, or best song of Carnival. As the costume bands cross the stage in the Queen’s Park Savannah, the song that most bands dance to is declared Road March for the year, and wins a large cash prize.

Road March King – A Calypso composer whose tune has been adjudged the most popular (played) for that particular year’s Carnival.

Soca – Soul-Calypso, the modern version of calypso music. Hardcore political satire, scandals, sexual double entendre and comedy, wrapped up in dance music with an African beat and heavy baseline.

Steel Pan, Steel band – Melodic percussion instruments made out of oil drums and invented in Trinidad in the 1930’s. One hundred piece steel orchestras compete playing classical, soca, pop during Carnival.

Tent, Kaiso tent – A calypso or soca concert featuring several singers, music bands and comedians.

Tight -Intoxicated, drunk, stoned

Waist – Trini pronunciation (Wais) The ability to wine “De gyul only trowin ral good wais!”

Wajang – A roudy, uncouth person.

Wine, Winin – A sexually suggestive dance using rhythmic hip gyrations that can make the hula look tame, best done to calypso music.The style of dancing to Soca, Calypso and Chutney… circular movement of the waist or Trini term for rolling your waist line- looks very sexual

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