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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1937 (DOST Vol. I).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Ballat, Ballet, n. Also: ballatt, -ett, -eit, balat; ballad. [e.m.E. balate (1521), ballet(te, balytte, var. of balade, balaade (1447), ballade, OF. Balade, ballade.] A ballad or song, orig. one accompanying a dance.(a) 1491 Treas. Acc. I. 184 (for the singyn of a ballat to the King in the mornyng). c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxii. 48 (I can bot ballattis breif); lxix. 5 (off sangis, ballattis, and of playis). 1513 Doug. vi. x. 40 (to sing ballatis, and go in karalyng). 1531 Bell. Boece I. 158 (the young wenchis sang dailie ballattis, in derisioun of Romanis). 1554 Edinb. B. Rec. 199 (ballattis of defamatioun). 1562-3 Winȝet I. 45/8 (ane ballat of menstralie, quhilk hes ane sueit tone). 1585 James VI Ess. 69 (thir kyndes of ballatis of haill verse). 1587-99 Hume 6/9 (vaine ballats of loue).(b) a1500 Henr. Test. Cress. 610 (this ballet schort). c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 129 (thai sang ballettis with michty notis clere). 1513 Doug. vii. vi. 132 (the wedding sangis and ballettis); xi. 142 ( … of thar kyng sang ballettis by the way). 1556 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 252 (certane odious ballettis and rymes laitlie sett furth). 1582 Reg. Privy C. III. 583 (ballettis, pasquillis, or cartellis). 1600-1610 Melvill 18 (a ballet sett out in print against ministers). (c) a1568 ? Clerk Bann. MS. 255 a/7.
Sa mony ar thair ladeis treitis With triumphand amowres balleitis

b. Ballat royal, a stanza of eight decasyllabic lines, rhyming a b a b b c b c. 1585 James VI Ess. 67.
For any heich and graue subiectis, specially drawin out of learnit authouris, vse this kynde of verse following, callit Ballat Royal

c. In comb. with -maker, -making, -wise.c1500-c1512 Dunb. iv. 59 (balat-making & trigide); lxxxi. 90 (ȝone ballet-maker); 69 (humblie into ballat wyse complaine).

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"Ballat n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Apr 2024 <>



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