Word Origin & History
"medieval oboe-like instrument," mid-14c., schalmeis (pl.), also schallemele (late 14c.), from O.Fr. chalemie, chalemel, from L.L. calamellus, lit. "a small reed," dim. of L. calamus "reed," from Gk. kalamos. Mistaken as a plural and trimmed of its "-s" ending from mid-15c.