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Word of the Day
Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Definitions for balladmonger

  1. an inferior poet.
  2. a seller of ballads.

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Citations for balladmonger
I had rather be a kitten, and cry mew, Than one of these same metre ballad-mongers ... William Shakespeare, King Henry IV, Part 1, 1598
That sounds like a cheap balladmonger's gibe, Richard. Norah Lofts, The Lute Player, 1951
Origin of balladmonger
Shakespeare (1564-1616) is the first recorded author to use balladmonger, a compound noun that has nearly always had a belittling or depreciatory sense. Monger is a common Germanic word derived from Latin mangō, “a slave trader; a merchant who adorns or decorates inferior wares to make them look more attractive.” From the Old English period even until the 20th century, monger has had positive connotations, but beginning in the mid-16th century monger and its derivative compounds frequently have had a negative connotation. For example, ironmonger “a merchant or dealer in iron and hardware,” first recorded in the 12th century, is neutral, but Mark Twain’s coinage superstition-monger is certainly depreciatory. Balladmonger entered English in the late 16th century.