bolfaster (OSw) bolfast (ODan) bolfastr (OGu) adj.

This word, frequently used in the expression bolfaster man, means literally ‘land-tied (man)’. In the translation ‘resident’, it occurs both as an adjective and as a noun. The implication is that the man concerned is a resident of the area with a fixed abode, as opposed to a löskamaþer (see löska), an itinerant. The translation ‘resident’ employed in UL and VmL is intended to include both those who own land and those who do not own land, but who are permanent residents. Such people were permitted to give evidence as witnesses of character or fact and to take part in the watch. Their status seems to overlap with that of bonde in the meaning ‘householder’. In GL the translation ‘landowning man’ perhaps limits the cohort too much, but is intended to indicate the status of the person referred to, especially as the concept of an itinerant does not appear in GL and the word might be considered to distinguish landowning from tenant farmers (laigulenninger, the OGu word for OSw landboe). Since tenants could move from one parish to another when their tenancy ended, they might not have been regarded as ‘residents’ in the full sense of the word for legal purposes. This distinction equates to the translation in SkL. There seems to be no discernible difference between the meaning of this word and that of bofaster (q.v.).

landowning OGu GL A 14, 18, 19
of the neighbourhood OSw MEL Gb
permanently settled OSw KrL Bb

resident OGu GL A 20a
OSw HL Kgb, Mb
OSw SdmL Kgb, Kmb
OSw UL Kkb, Kgb, Mb, Jb, Kmb, Blb, Rb
OSw VmL Kkb, Mb, Kmb, Bb, Rb
OSw YVgL Tb, Add

resident farmer OSw HL Äb
settled OSw KrL Gb Äb Jb Bb Kmb DbI DbII Tb
OSw MEL Jb Bb Kmb Rb DbI Tb
OSw MESt Äb Rb

with a fixed abode ODan SkL 118 Refs:

Schlyter 1877, s.v.v. bofaster, bolfaster

  • ‘bolfaster’. A Lexicon of Medieval Nordic Law.