Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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1. “Magd” in the German lands

The German term Magd (“maid”; OHG magat, MHG maget, magt, Dutch maagd, Frisian megith) at first denoted an unmarried adult woman, but came in particular to refer to rural female servants in husbandry.

The Magd, as a seasonal rural laborer, was – like the Knecht – widespread in regions where the European marriage pattern and the nuclear family centered on a married couple were customary. Service as a maid in rural society accordingly marked a phase in the usual course of life (Curriculum v…

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Flüchter, Antje and Ulbrich, Claudia, “Maid”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 22 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_023579>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20190801

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