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English: status name for a peasant farmer or husbandman, Middle English bonde (Old English bonda, bunda, reinforced by Old Norse bóndi). The Old Norse word was also in use as a personal name, and this has given rise to other English and Scandinavian surnames alongside those originating as status names. The status of the peasant farmer fluctuated considerably during the Middle Ages; moreover, the underlying Germanic word is of disputed origin and meaning. Among Germanic peoples who settled to an agricultural life, the term came to signify a farmer holding lands from, and bound by loyalty to, a lord; from this developed the sense of a free landholder as opposed to a serf. In England after the Norman Conquest the word sank in status and became associated with the notion of bound servitude.