Trinidadian carnival terms, like carnival, resist definitive definitions, making this glossary almost antithetical to carnival. Yet Trinidadian carnival terms indicate important distinctions between African, East Indian, and European influences while foregrounding Trinidadians' conception of carnival as a dynamic social and political event. So wherever possible this glossary includes multiple spellings, resulting from transcriptions of terms from a vibrant oral culture, competing definitions, and multiple histories. The aim of assembling this glossary is to indicate, from sometimes competing and contradictory explanations, an understanding of what carnival – a defining event of Trinidad and Tobago culture – has been and what it is becoming.