Main definitions of ran-tan in English

: ran-tan1ran-tan2

ran-tan1

Pronunciation /ˈrantan/

verb

(also ran-dan)
dialect, historical British, Midlands English
  • To condemn and humiliate (a husband) publicly for beating his wife, typically by causing a disturbance outside his house by beating pots and kettles, singing and chanting loudly, etc., and sometimes also by beating him, chasing him from the town, or compelling him to ‘ride the stang’. Also occasionally without object.

Origin

Mid 17th century (in an earlier sense). Ultimately imitative.

Main definitions of ran-tan in English

: ran-tan1ran-tan2

ran-tan2

Pronunciation /ˈrantan/

exclamation

(also ran-dan)
  • Representing a loud and repetitive banging noise, especially that made by knocking or drumming.

    In later use English regional, as part of a chant accompanying the ‘rantanning’ of a husband who has beaten his wife; see
    ran-tan
    (now historical).

Origin

Early 17th century; earliest use found in Thomas Dekker (c1572–1632), playwright and pamphleteer. Ultimately imitative.