from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A person whose employment consists in singing ballads in public.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • There are other references to the years of revolution in the court books: the kings coat of arms was removed and a ballad-singer was shorn of his cavalier locks.


  • Having sung this stanza in the manner of a ballad-singer, whose voice has been cracked by matching his windpipe against the bugle of the north blast, Richie Moniplies aided Lord Glenvarloch to rise, attended his toilet with every possible mark of the most solemn and deferential respect, then waited upon him at breakfast, and finally withdrew, pleading that he had business of importance, which would detain him for some hours.

    The Fortunes of Nigel

  • Goldsmith, it is probable, sent his ballad-singer away rejoicing with all the money in his pocket.

    The Life of Oliver Goldsmith

  • He had, in fact, a delicate ear for music, which had been jarred by the false notes of the ballad-singer; and there were certain pathetic ballads, associated with recollections of his childhood, which were sure to touch the springs of his heart.

    The Life of Oliver Goldsmith

  • It was in fact a poor ballad-singer, whose cracked voice had been heard by others of the party, but without having the same effect on their sensibilities.

    The Life of Oliver Goldsmith

  • And the music-loving Karel i Roten, born and reared in the direst of poverty, but the ablest ballad-singer in South Parish, he left his work and hastened home simply to hear a man play the guitar.

    The Road Leads On

  • I had often, in my childhood, followed a ballad-singer, to hear the sequel of a dismal story, though sure of being severely punished for delaying to return with whatever I was sent to purchase.

    Maria; or The Wrongs of Woman

  • In the drenching storms I would give some wayfarer shelter; a half-drowned Baktrian child, a Greek ballad-singer; and, once, Kalanos the philosopher, whom I saw standing in a waterfall, in his single breechclout.

    The Persian Boy

  • One of the earliest companies of this sort was organized and sustained under the leadership of Nelson Kneass, who, while skilful in his manipulations of the banjo, was quite an accomplished pianist besides, as well as a favorite ballad-singer.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 20, No. 121, November, 1867

  • The fellow bringing in a pewter dish, as part of the apparatus of this elegant and Attic entertainment, a blind harper, a trumpeter, and a ragged ballad-singer, roaring out an obscene song, complete this motley group.

    The Works of William Hogarth: In a Series of Engravings With Descriptions, and a Comment on Their Moral Tendency


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