Definition of bondager in English:



  • 1A person who performed services as a condition of feudal tenure.

    • ‘Nacy Thompson is a bondager, a farm laborer forced to live in virtual slavery, her life dictated by the cruel and barbaric whims of her masters.’
    • ‘These bondagers were allowed to grow vegetables and keep a cow to provide food for their children, yet life was difficult.’
    • ‘The life of a bondager was no rural idyll, but one of long hours and hard work born with patient dignity.’
    1. 1.1(in southern Scotland and NE England) a female outworker supplied to a proprietor by a tenant.
      • ‘The bondagers were women hired at the annual hiring fairs by farm hands who were required to bring female workers with them when they themselves were hired.’
      • ‘Deals where struck whereby men provided a female worker, or bondager, to labor on demand for the employer in exchange for such things as the cottage rent.’
      • ‘This photo shows a group of bondagers at Hilltown Farm, Newton, Midlothian.’
      • ‘A bondager was a female worker provided by an agricultural worker as a condition of his employment.’
      • ‘Based on interviews with four women who worked in agriculture in Midlothain during the early twentieth century, this volume reveals the hard work of the bondager.’
      • ‘The use of such female bondagers as agricultural labourers was especially prevalent in south east Scotland and extended into north Northumberland.’