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Kaiso - The origin of the word

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

The word "kaiso" is of African origin. The word "kaiso" is used interchanging with "Calypso". The word "Calypso" first appeared in Trinidad around the start of the 1900s. Trinidad is well-regarded as the birthplace of Calypso. However, the word "kaiso" is African.


The word "Kaiso" come from the Hausa language. The Hausa language is the language of the people of Northern Nigeria. Northern Nigeria is one of the areas from which West Africans were taken from during the transatlantic slave trade.

Map of Nigeria

Use today

The word "Kaiso" is used today by local calypsonians and it is often phrased "kaiso kaiso" or "give me more kaiso kaiso". Kaiso or Calypso is a song that speaks about the social and political issues of society in a creative and masterful way, using play on words, and double meanings (double entendre). In Grenada, there is an annual Calypso competition held during the Carnival season (Spicemas) on Carnival Sunday. The competition is called Dimanche Gras.

Source: Soca News

Sour Serpent - Local Calypsonian

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