The author attempts a combined investigation of the first components of the fellow terms κωμ-ῳδός and τραγ-ῳδός. The ancient testimonies concerning the origins of drama come generally from the context of private δεῖπνον, in whose second half the guests used to combine wine-drinking with singing in unison (-ῳδός, the common second component of both terms). When the drinking grew heavier, the young intoxicated diners used to sing cheerful songs, rise from their tables, and dance outdoors. This stage is called κῶμος, forming, as we know, the first component of κωμῳδός. However, as long as the drinking was restrained, the mature diners remained seated and sang serious songs. This stage of the δεῖπνον is named, after the items served, τραγήματα (verb τρώγω – τραγεῖν), and may well form the first component of τραγῳδός. The distinction corresponds to the modern dichotomy between table-songs and dance-songs in the folklife of most peoples (e.g., Mod. Greek τραγούδια τῆς τάβλας – τραγούδια τοῦ χοροῦ). The terms τραγῳδοί and τραγικοί χοροί were subsequently used for choruses of solemn songs about gods or heroes in local festivals, mainly in the northeast part of the Doric Peloponnese. The festivities passed from there to Dionysiac festivals in Attic Icaria together with the τραγ- term, which in the meantime had been folk-etymologized from τράγος, a derivation that prevailed throughout antiquity and is still predominant among scholars. The he-goat was established as prize in the contests of Thespis’ invention, i.e., dithyrambic choruses with chorus-leader solo interventions. – In parallel, the author explores some new readings in the Marmor Parium Susarion and Thespis entries and criticizes M. L. West’s theory about the early chronology of Attic tragedy.