One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A medieval French ballad, consisting of parts of spoken prose alternating with parts of sung verse; this type of ballad as a literary genre.
2Any text, work, or performance consisting partly of prose and partly of (sung or recited) verse.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in The Contemporary Review. From French chantefable from chanter to sing + fable, as modernizing alteration of Old French cantefable cantefable.
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