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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II).

BONDAGE, BONNAGE, BUNNAGE, n. Services due to a proprietor from a tenant or to a farmer from a farm-worker. (See quots.) Also used attrib. [′bɔn(d)ɪ̢dʒ, ′bʌnɪ̢dʒ]Ork. c.1912 J. Omond Orkney 80 Years Ago 25:
Tenants had also to cut and carry the landlord's peats; to come a day whenever called on to plough, harrow, and do anything the landlord wanted. In harvest they had to leave their own crop and cut his. These days were called “bonnage” or bondage days. . . . About the year 1832 . . . rent was paid in money and “bonnage” or day's service abolished.
Bch. 1929 W. Littlejohn Buchan Cottar Stories iii.:
At that time and place, Jane Milne, a good-looking young “deem,” shearing the bunnage days o' hairst, said to some of her neighbours in Tam's hearing, “He's a richt strappin' chiel that Tam Stott.”
Ags. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 I. 433:
Bonnage — is an obligation, on the part of a tenant, to cut down the proprietor's corn. .
Ayr. 1935 In Burns's Day in Scotsman (25 Jan.) 11:
“Bonnage,” a surviving mediæval custom by which he [the farmer] was compelled to give a certain amount of labour to his landlord in cutting peats and carrying corn or manure.
s.Sc. 1857 J. Wilson Tales of the Borders IV. 208:
They were “in need of a bit lassie,” as his mother said, “to keep up the bondage.”
Rxb. 1917 Kelso Chron. (7 Sept.) 3/2:
“Ye dinna gang in for the bondage system do ye?” asks Tam with an anxious look. “No, not for some years back; but for a' that I'll no hire a man that hasna a woman worker.”

Combs.: (1) bonnage-heuk (see quot.); (2) bonnage-peats (see quot.); (3) bondage work, service rendered by a tenant.(1) Abd. 1825 Jam.2:
Bonnage-heuk. A tenant, who is bound by the terms of his lease to reap, or use his hook, for the proprietor in harvest.
(2) Ib.:
Bonnage-peats. Peats, which, by his lease, a tenant is bound to furnish to the proprietor.
(3) Hdg. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 II. 35:
The women's wages for bondage work, as it is called.
Rxb. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 III. 214:
Bondage work is general in the district.

[O.Sc. bondage, bondaige, etc., (1) serfdom, (2) service due from a tenant to his superior; Mid.Eng. bondage (1330), Anglo-Fr. bondage, Anglo-Lat. bondagium (D.O.S.T.), from O.E. bonda, O.N. bondi, from O.N. būa, to dwell, cultivate.]

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"Bondage n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Sep 2022 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/bondage>

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