1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Bondager

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BONDAGER, a word meaning generally a servant, but specially used in the south of Scotland and Northumberland as the term for a female outworker whom a married farm-labourer, living in a cottage attached to the farm, undertakes as a condition of his tenancy to supply for field-labour, sometimes also to board and lodge. The origin of the system was a dearth of field-labour.