Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
BALLANT, BALLAN', n. Mod.Sc. form of Eng. ballad. A popular tale, gen. founded on some old tradition, couched in simple metre and often accompanied by music or sung. Gen.Sc.
Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. xlv.:
They [the smugglers] stick to it that they'll . . . hae an auld wife when they're dying to rhyme ower prayers, and ballants, and charms, . . . rather than . . . a minister to come and pray. Sc. 1825 Jam.2:
Ballant, a ballad; the general pronunciation among the vulgar throughout S[cotland]. Mry.(D) 1924 J. C. Austin in Swatches o' Hamespun 79:
There's Mergit Fyfe, the browster wife, Wha deals in booze an' ballants. Ags. 1848 J. Myles (ed.) A Feast of Literary Crumbs (1891) 34:
A bunch o' spunks or bawbee ballan', Or hank o' stringin'. Gall. c.1870 M. Harper in Bards of Gall. (ed. Harper 1889) 161:
To weave in its praise a bit ballant or sang, Hoo the visions o' young days come croodin' sae thrang.
Phrase: A hole in the ballant, orig. the ballad-singer's excuse when his broadside was torn, the phrase was extended to mean “a blank or omission of any kind” (Ags.2).
Sc. 1892 R. L. Stevenson The Wrecker v.:
Alexander Loudon, Born Seventeen Ninety-Twa, Died — and then a hole in the ballant. Arg. 1901 N. Munro Doom Castle xx.:
“A hole in the ballant,” commented the Provost. “Have another skelp at it, Factor.”
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"Ballant n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Jan 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/ballant>
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