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Husʹband

is the house farmer. Bonde is Norwegian for a “farmer,” hence bondë-by (a village where farmers dwell); and hus means “house.” Hus-band-man is the man-of-the-house farmer. The husband, therefore, is the master farmer, and the husband-man the servant or labourer. “Husbandry” is the occupation of a farmer or husband; and a bondman or bondslave has no connection with bond = fetters, or the verb to bind. It means simply a cultivator of the soil. (See Villein.) Old Tusser was in error when he derived the word from “houseband,” as in the following distich:—

“The name of the husband, what is it to say?

Of wife and of house-hold the band and the stay.”


Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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