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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1937 (DOST Vol. I).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Bondage, n. Also: bondaige, bond-, bontadge, bonnag. [ME. bondage (1330), AF. bondage, Anglo-L. bondagium. Cf. Boundage.]

1. Serfdom, servitude, bondage. c1420 Wynt. i. 77.
Nocht as bondage wndyr lawe, Bot that lykyng grace sulde knawe
1456 Hay I. 264/20.
Sayand that of all bondage and thraldome he had fred him
Ib. II. 14/23.
In servitude thare is sa mekle … bondage and thrillage
1479 Acta Conc. 24/1.
In the mene tyme, the king wil be avisit and ger see the ald lawis of bondage
1513 Doug. i. v. 96.
Quhen Anchises ofspring … The realm of Phthia in bondage sal doune thring
1531 Bell. Boece I. iii.
The emprioure … deliverit thaim of bondaige
1562-3 Winȝet II. 28/22.
Quha … leidis in bondage women ladin with sin
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. 24 b.
As lang as ane man is in servitude and bondage

2. Service due from a tenant to his superior. 1638 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II. 441.
Sicklyke [payment] yearly for arriage, carriage, and bondage of the lands
1661 Forbes Baron Ct. 229.
The haill tenentis … is ordained to send in thair servandis tymoslie to the bondadge accordeing as they ar varned be the officeris
1668 Glasgow B. Rec. III. 102.
The sowme … deburst be him to the ladie Newwark, in name of bontadge, for the bargane the towne maid with her laird
1672 Forbes Baron Ct. 292.
All tennentis … sall send in thair servantes … to the bonnag tymmouslie

b. Attrib. with hors, service, silver, tenure. 1555 Liber Melros 643.
In aragiis et caragiis … et in lye bondage siluer
1558 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 491.
Payand … yeirlie … iij schillingis iiij penneis for bondage siluer
1650 Strathbogie Presb. 131.
He … caused keip the grass of it till his bondage horse … came to lead his peits
1652 Acts VI. ii. 300/2.
The nature of the vassalage and bondage tenures and seruices of the people of Scotland
Ib. 810/1.
All those … shall … be set free from their former dependencies and bondage-services

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"Bondage n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jul 2024 <>



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