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nunny-bag n also ninny bag, nonny ~ [phonetics unavailable]. DC ~ Nfld (1842-1961); O Sup2 Nfld; cp NUNCH. A sealskin, burlap or canvas knapsack used to carry food and personal equipment esp when hunting, sealing or travelling long distances on foot; a hunting bag.
   [1822] 1866 WILSON 341 Each man had a nunny-bag, which is a kind of knapsack, made of seal-skin, with the two fore-fippers passing over the shoulders, and tied across the breast with a piece of cod-line. In our nunny-bag, we carried dry stockings, a change of linen, with any papers we might require ... also ... two days' provisions; and, as lucifer matches were not then known, we carried the old-fashioned tinder-box, with flint and steel, also an extinguished firebrand, so as to facilitate the kindling of a fire if necessary. 1842 JUKES ii, 146 We hung up in the tilt a 'nunny bag' full of bread... This is a bag made of seal-skin converted into a knapsack: what the origin of the word 'nunny' is I cannot tell, but it is in universal use in the country. 1886 Colonist Christmas No 8 Our guides profiting by the delay, open their 'nunny-bags,' (to use a local term) large seal-skin pouches, from which they draw forth a very good lunch. 1896 J A Folklore ix, 24 ~ originally meaning a lunch-bag, but now used in the general sense of a bag to carry all the articles deemed necessary in travelling. 1919 GRENFELL1 204 Our sealers carry dry oatmeal and sugar in their 'normy bags,' which, mixed with snow, assuage their thirst and hunger as well. 1925 Dial Notes v, 337 Nonny bag. A small knapsack to carry out on the ice; ditty bag. 1937 DEVINE 35 ~ A small skin or canvas bag for holding provisions on a journey. T 84-64 Five mile from land now, an' still no breakfast. An' no nunny bag. never had no grub aboard o' boat. C 71-103 A nunny bag could be like a knapsack or it could be a drawstring bag. It had only one strap which went over the two shoulders and behind the neck. 1975 LEYTON 21 I got in the copse, in the thick woods right around the road, and I hauled the nonny bag off me back. 1976 CASHIN 86 We carried certain emergency food with us. This generally consisted of oatmeal, sugar and raisins all mixed together and carried in what is called a 'ninny bag' attached to your belt.

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