bundling, courtship custom, thought to have originated in Holland and the British Isles. It was extended to America, particularly to New England, and most widely practiced in the years prior to the Revolution of 1776. Engaged or courting couples, dressed or partially dressed, traditionally lay together on a bed pursuing their romance. They were sometimes separated by a board, or the girl's legs were tied together, or the couple was in some other way constrained from completing the sexual act. As a formal custom the practice was abandoned in the early 19th cent. because of widespread social disapproval.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.