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definition of the word assigned_servant

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assigned servant

assigned servants

assigned servant (plural assigned servants)

  1. (Australian) In the days when Australia was a penal settlement: a convict assigned to work as a servant for a free settler (either a male or female convict, and either a male or female settler).

The term convict was considered an insult in early colonial Australia (reference: Robert Hughes, The Fatal Shore, 1987, paperback ISBN 1-86046-150-6, page xi.). Assigned servant was one of several euphemisms; see convict for others.

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